You gave him your love, your heart, and your trust. He sent you a text that said "My wife found out about us. I will always care about you, but I have to try to save my marriage. Please understand." Then he was gone, and you were alone in the same room where he had made love to you so many times, and had promised you so many things, and it hurt so much you could hardly breathe, but even in that horrible moment of pain and betrayal and insensitivity, all you wanted to do was run into his arms and beg him to return. Why? Because he's such an amazing man that no matter how he much he hurts you, he is deserving of your love?


No, it's because you're an idiot. Get over it. He did.

This blog is dedicated to the broken-hearted, the emotionally maligned, and the romantically bereft. I am not a psychologist, therapist, or counselor, only a woman who knows the pain of heartache and wants to share her experiences with others in the hope that they will take comfort in realizing that heartbreak is a universal affliction and that they do not suffer alone. Comments are welcome, silence is understood. Because hell is for heartbreakers, and it's a journey they will make on their own. But for every broken heart, there is an angel waiting in the darkness, for every tear, a speck of sparkling sunlight, and for every night of sorrow, a new tomorrow and another chance to love and be loved again.



Still beating? Not beaten...


About Me

My photo

I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.


The heart has its reasons that reason does not know

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


For the last two years, I have been in love with a married man who not only claimed that he loved me as well, but promised that he would always love me and, "when the time was right", leave his wife to be with me. Please don't waste the energy it would take to even think about telling me what a fool I've been. The worst part isn't that I have squandered the last two years making this man the center of my current existence and the glowing, guiding orb leading me toward my future one, it's that when his wife found out about us last week and he broke up with me to return to her, I actually thought....oh, my God, I can hardly say it...I actually thought that he was going to miss me. But why wouldn't I? As he was leaving, the man-tears still glistening in his eyes, he told me that it was going to be "hell" to live without me. So, he should have opted for the alternative, wouldn't you say? Except he didn't. His wife found out that he'd been seeing another woman, confronted him and asked him what he was going to do, and he said, "End it, of course." Of course. That's an actual quote from the man himself. Two short words that pretty much sum up what I should have known all along. Even though he and I were in the same relationship, we had completely different perceptions of what it was, where it was headed, and how long it would last. My perception was the standard one: we were deeply in love, we were heading toward the "right time" when he would leave his wife (i.e. the woman who didn't make him happy and hated sex), and it would end when one of us died. His perception? I was the outlet he needed to get the intellectual stimulation and sex he couldn't get at home, we were heading in a circle like two gerbils in a cage, and it would go on as long as his wife didn't find out, and when she did, it was going to be that.

Is there a hierarchy for stupidity in these situations? There should be. I'm just not sure at what point I ascended to the highest level of that hierarchy and how I managed to remain so oblivious to the ascent. I am cutting myself some slack for being easy prey. When I met the "married man" two years ago, I was still recovering from the divorce I had gone through a year before. The end of a twenty-five year marriage is not something a person recovers from quickly, no matter how unhappy the actual relationship has been, and I was still struggling to accept the fact my husband had left me for another woman. Not only was I depressed, angry, and hurt, my sense of self-esteem had taken a huge hit to the point where I couldn't even imagine ever becoming involved with another man again. It was, quite literally, the last thing on my mind. So when "Married Man" showed up at my yard sale one hot summer day and seemed to linger longer than was necessary to sift through the few items that I had advertised as "antiques", I didn't think twice about it. My Danish daughter-in-law was staying with me at the time, and, if anything, I thought that he was flirting with her. Why not? She was attractive and had a sexy Scandinavian acccent that must have seemed exotic in our otherwise ordinary little neighborhood. As for him...well, I remember thinking only that he was quite tall and that his brown hair was a little on the shaggy side for a man who looked to be somewhere in his late thirties or forties, but that was it. He was reasonably good-looking, but certainly not drop-dead handsome or anything of that sort. Even if he had been, it wouldn't have mattered. I simply wasn't in the market for a new man. He made an offer on one of my "antique" plates, I declined it, and he went on his way. Then, for some reason, as he was leaving, I stopped him and mentioned that I had some depressionware plates and bowls in storage and asked if he would be be interested in seeing them. He told me that he would like very much to see them, and that if I got them out and put them aside, he would make a point of returning the following day to take a look at them. And that was that. He got in his truck, drove away, and I forgot all about it.

It was around two o'clock the next day, and I was writing at my desk, when my daughter-in-law came up to me and announced, "That antiques guy is here to see you." I stared at her, trying to make sense of the words. "Antiques guy?" She smiled. "You know, the one who was here for the yard sale yesterday." she said. "Oh...okay," I replied,starting to remember. "Well, tell him to come in...I guess."

I wasn't particularly pleased that he had come back. Not only had I forgotten all about him after he had left the day before, I hadn't even bothered to dig out the depressionware dinner set that I had promised to show him. I wasn't in the mood to do it now, either. In fact, the whole yard sale had been my daugher-in-law's idea. She wanted to make some extra money before she went back to Denmark. But I tried to put on a friendly face as she ushered him into the living room. He was carrying a six-pack of Heinekin. I offered him a seat. He offered me a beer. I told him that I had forgotten to look for the depressionware.

"That's all right," he said. "I just thought it might be nice to talk for a while."

I had two thoughts. He had seen something in the yard sale that was worth a lot more than I realized and was trying to butter me up so that I would sell it to him, or he was after my daughter-in-law. Not for one second did it occur to me that he was there because he actually wanted to just sit and talk to me for a while. But that was what he did. We talked for well over an hour, while he drank five beers to my one and appeared to be absolutely riveted by everything that came out of my mouth. We talked about my elder son's drug issues, our mutual interest in music (I've been the lead singer in a succession of bands; he plays guitar), religion, and writing. I told him that I had squandered all of my divorce settlement money in Europe, trying to get over my depression. He told me that my husband must have been an idiot to leave me, and that it was time to put him in the past and move on. Even though we had only met the previous day, we were surprisingly comfortable in one another's company, with no awkward lulls marring the conversation. I think it would have gone on for as long as I chose to sit there and continue it with him, but as he finished his last beer, I decided it was time to end it so that I could return to my writing. So I told him that I needed to get back to work, which he seemed to understand, and then walked him to the door. As I started to say good-bye, he reached out to hug me. I was a little taken aback. I mean, I barely knew him. Now we're hugging good-bye like old school chums? But I let the unexpected gesture pass and he left...once again...and I went back to my writing.

"What do you think that was all about?" I asked my daughter-in-law when she came back into the room a short time later.

"I think he's interested in you," she replied, matter-of-factly.

"Oh, please," I said. "Besides, I distinctly remembering him mentioning that he was married."

"That doesn't mean he isn't interested," she insisted, with the same matter-of-factness.

As it turned out, she was right. The next day, he sent me an email in which he told me how much he had enjoyed our conversation and how much he would enjoy seeing me again. I decided it was probably best not to respond. I had enjoyed our conversation as well, but so what? He was married. Having played the role of "the scorned wife" such a short time ago, I had no desire to take on the opposite role of "the other woman." Besides, I simply wasn't attracted to him in "that way." It didn't matter that he was cute and that we clearly had things in common. I had never been involved with a married man before, and I had very strong feelings about women who did become involved with them. Those feelings were not positive. I hoped that, by ignoring his email, I would be able to make that point without having to explain it to him in person. I was wrong. He came back to see me a few days later, and this time, he laid his cards right out on the table.

He told me that he wanted to see me (there was no question as to what he meant by "see" me), but there was only one problem---he was married. He disclosed the information as though he were telling me that he wanted to go to the movies with me that night, but, unfortunately, had to work. There was no sense of guilt or discomfort attached to it. No sense that he knew it was wrong, but just couldn't help being attracted to me. He didn't seem to be bothered by the fact all at, except as it might deter me from agreeing to see him again. And I was deterred.

"I could never get involved with a married man," I told him. "I mean, I like you, but...well...don't you love your wife?"

"Yes, but she's a red-head, and you know how red-headed people are always angry?" He shrugged and gave me a smile....a lop-sided, boyish smile that I would come to know well. "She's always angry, and all we do is fight, and I was really excited about our conversation the other day."

"Okay, well, I have nothing against you stopping by to talk sometimes," I told him. "But anything more than that..." I paused, studying his brown eyes. "Have you been with other women outside of your marriage?"

He confessed that he had. He'd been with five other women since he had married his wife nineteen years before. None of the relationships had been serious, he explained, and they had all ended when the woman started to feel guilty or began to develop feelings for him. I was astounded. If I had been as intelligent as most people seemed to think I am, I would have put the kabash on the situation right then and there. To this day, I have no idea why I didn't just shake my head in disbelief and tell him that I wished him luck in finding his next mistress but that it sure as hell wasn't going to be me. Instead, I asked him if he had kept in touch with any of these "other women."

"No, I just go back to my wife and I'm good for a while," he said.

"And now you've decided it's time to take a another break from being good?" I asked.

"I don't decide. It just happens. And I was just really excited by our conversation the other day," he replied, treating me to another flash of that boyish smile.

I'm honestly not sure what I said next. I only remember that, at some point, he suggested that we just go on being "friends" and enjoying one another's company for the time being, and I agreed to the arrangement. While I was completely adverse to the idea of a sexual relationship with a married man, I had to admit that I did enjoy the intellectual connection we shared, and it had been a long time since I had met someone who seemed so interested in what I had to say. Still, that nagging little sense of discomfort over his marital status just would not go away. It bothered me so much that, for the next several weeks, whenever I saw him pull his truck into the driveway, I ran and hid in the bathroom and pretended not to be home. If there was someone in the house with me, I begged them to answer the door and tell him I wasn't home. In the meantime, he sent me emails that I didn't answer, as well as a "friend request" on Facebook. When I checked out his page, it turned out that I was the only "friend" on it. It was like accepting an invitation to a party, going there, and discovering that you were the only one around to sample the cheese fondue. And yet I couldn't help being flattered by his relentless pursuit. I had been dumped by my husband after twenty-five years of marriage because my husband met a woman who he believed was his soulmate. Never mind that I was the mother of his two children, or that we had exchanged wedding vows that were supposed to have precluded running off with newly met soulmates. He met her, and I became past tense. Now, a year and a half later, I found myself an object of desire once again. It was a conundrum that tormented me. Considering my recent marital history, I had a hard time with the idea of playing the role of "the other woman." Then again, it was clear that this "married man" was not getting what he needed at home, and as long as we didn't allow the relationship to becomes sexual, it wasn't really wrong, was it? Finally, after weeks of avoiding him, during which I was alternately annoyed and impressed by his undaunted efforts to re-connect with me, I sent him an email and told him to stop by the next day. He did. And that was when it all began to change.

I can't remember the moment in which I actually decided to sleep with him. Yes, I liked him...very much. And there was no question that I enjoyed and even looked forward to his company. We discussed sex frequently, mainly as it pertained to us, and he had told me that one of the reasons that he had ventured outside of his marriage in pursuit of female companionship was that his wife disliked having sex. When they did have it, he said, it was "boring" and that he didn't think that his wife was even capable of having an orgasm. When I asked him why, if sex was so important to him, he remained married to her, he told me that he hated the idea of ending his marriage because of how it might affect his son, who was in his very late teens, but apparently somewhat sheltered. By that time, the idea of having sex with him was still a "take it or leave it" proposition for me. It wasn't that I didn't find him attractive, it was just that I hadn't had sex with anyone but my husband for twenty-five years, and I was terrified of discovering that I was incapable of pleasing yet another man. But I had lost forty pounds since my divorce (mostly because I was just too damned depressed to have much of an appetite), and he made it clear that he found me very attractive. So, one day, after several visits during which we had done nothing but talk (although he had held my hand and always hugged me good-bye), we crossed the fateful line. It was so strange to see him naked, to realize that I was touching and being touched by someone other than my former husband. Despite the emotional difficulties that had "killed" the sexual interaction in my marriage, I had always been very comfortable with my sexuality, and I wasn't shy when it came to the sex act itself. He was the same way. We had sex for the first time on the couch in my living room, with the late summer sunlight pouring in through the windows, and the sound of traffic providing a backdrop. At one point, when an ice cream truck went by playing "Pop Goes The Weasel" at an obnoxiously loud volume, we burst into laughter. We were comfortable with one another on every level, it seemed, as people, as friends, and as sexual partners. It was what I had always wanted in a relationship. It would have been perfect...except he was married.

But that part of it...the "married" part...was not something that I could forget easily. He mentioned his wife frequently, making casual references to her as he told me about his work or something he had done at home or plans they had made. For the first month or so of our relationship, I felt no jealousy when he spoke of her. I had entered into the situation of my own volition and with full awareness of his legal connection to another woman. It was enough to know that I was able to give him something that she couldn't, that it made him happy, and that he was grateful for it. He was, by nature, a "fixer of things", and made endless efforts to help me out in my own everyday life, which was fraught with problems. I was beset with monetary concerns, and he eased my burden with a sweet generosity that made me want to please him even more. He loved to solve other kinds of problems as well, and spent a great deal of time helping me figure out how to deal with personal issues and offering what usually turned out to be excellent advice on how to improve my familial difficulties, many of which centered around my elder son' drug use. Looking back, I think it was his interest and involvement in my personal situation that made me fall in love with him. If it had just been sex, I doubt our relationship would have lasted very long. Even with the mutual satisfaction we both got from our conversations, which were always a huge component of our time together. But he was so helpful, so supportive, and even when he was not with me, so concerned about my state of mind regarding one crisis or another, that I started to forget that he didn't just belong to me. We exchanged copious emails every night, spending hours online as we shared the details of what we had been doing while we'd been apart. Although I only saw him physically two or three times a week, and only for three to four hours at a time, it felt like a real relationship. So much so that, by the time fall began to shift into winter and the holiday season, I found myself becoming jealous whenever he mentioned his wife. At one point, after a particularly enjoyable conversation following sex, he told me that he wished he could talk to his wife the way he did to me. I started to cry. He was completely thrown off guard and asked me why I was so upset.

"Because you come here and we have this perfect time together doing all the things you can't do with her, but you're still with her and not with me," I blubbered. Then, against my better judgment, I confessed that I had fallen in love with him. He went silent. I cried some more. Then he put his arms around me and said, "You mean a great deal to me. I'm doing the best that I can."

It wasn't even close to what I had wanted him to say, but it was better than nothing, I decided. And for the next year, it was the most I ever got from him when it came to discussing his feelings for me. We didn't discuss them very often. It was the one thing he hated to talk about. But my feelings for him continued to expand to the point where I actually asked him not to mention his wife anymore. He agreed to the moritorium. And even though he still wouldn't confess to anything more than "caring deeply" for me, it was obvious that he was just as invested in the relationship as I was. He told me that it would bother him if I saw other men. I responded by telling him that I had no intention of seeing other men because I belonged to him. "I belong to you, too," he told me, and I felt that my heart would burst from my sense of joy. He brought me presents that he had picked up at the various sales that he scoured in search of antiques, and I treasured each one as though it were made of gold. Our email exchanges continued to take up the earlier portion of every evening, and although I enjoyed them, it was always heart-wrenching when he would abruptly end the conversation by telling me that he was going to bed. I wondered if he would be having "terrible" sex with his wife that night. When he was too busy to write to me, I felt sad and left out, thinking about how much we shared, and how, despite that, he had a family who knew nothing about me and had no idea that he and I belonged to each other, too.

It was in February, nearly seven months after we had first met, that we experienced what I would come to refer to as the "Valentine's Day Massacre." My issues with my son had grown increasingly worse, and on the day after Valentine's Day, my man arrived to find me in the midst of an argument. When we were finally alone, he told me that he "just couldn't do this anymore." I asked him what he meant. He said that things were so volatile that it was starting ti make him tense, and he was always worried about my state of mind, and it was having an effect on him even when he wasn't with me. "And there are always so many people coming and going around here," he added. "Someone is bound to tell my wife." I was devastated. For the next two weeks, I was in a new kind of hell, one that felt even worse than the emotional abyss that had swallowed me up after my divorce. To have given my heart to another man, after being rejected by the one who had vowed to love me forever, and to find myself rejected yet again left me paralyzed with depression. But then, amazingly, he came back to me. He said that he had missed me. I reminded him of what he had said about my problems being too much for him. He told me that it was just that he felt overwhelmed because he knew I was in love with him. "So if I tell you I'm not in love with you..."I began. "We can be together," he finished. And so I told him what he wanted to hear. It was ridiculous. We both knew it was a lie. But neither of us cared.

The following spring was as idyllic as could be expected in our particular circumstances. We continued seeing each other as often as we could, kept up our nightly email exchanges, and even enjoyed a sort of psuedo-social life comprised of a few trusted friends who thought of us a couple. He never seemed concerned that he would be "outed", telling me that if I trusted these friends, then he did as well. They were all incredibly supportive of our relationship, although, in private, some of them did tell me that they worried about me getting hurt. "It's obvious he really cares about you," they would say, "but if he's not happy at home, he should do something about it and not make you wait around for him." In truth, I was beginning to have some concerns about that myself. Since I had made my tearful request that he not mention his wife anymore, he had kept his references to her very sparse, but at the same time, I had come to know him well enough to sense that he wasn't quite as unhappy with his homelife as he had been when we first met. And I didn't need a relationship counselor to tell me the reason. In providing the intellectual stimulation, emotional support, and sex that he didn't recieve at home, I had blunted the irritation and resentment he had felt toward his wife. He had never made any bones about the fact that he didn't want to break up his family, but I had clung to the hope that his feelings for me would eventually compel him to disregard the stigma of divorce in order to be with me for real. But I had made it too easy for him. He was having it both ways. I was too much in love with him to make demands or to even think about breaking it off, but I knew that in showering him with love and adoration and doing my best not to complain about the small windows of time in which we were together, I had, in essence, sealed my own fate.

We endured our second crisis that August. My son's drug problems had turned my home into a beleagured sanctuary in which I spent most of my time either fighting with him or trying to beat back the incessant tide of fellow druggies who came to see him at all hours. I would often awake in the mornings to find one or two of them passed out in my living room. They stole from me as well, to the point where I was afraid to leave anything of even marginal value out where it could be seen. My married man did his best to help by changing my lock several times, but there wasn't much he could do on a day to day basis except worry. When he wrote to me at night, and I was slow in responding, he would follow up the initial email with a flurry of "are you okay?" queries and always expressed great relief when I finally wrote back. Then things reached a crisis point. Without going into too much detail, one of my son's friends threatened to "out" my man to his wife if he didn't pay a certain sum of money. It was too much...again. This time, though, he seemed as devastated as I did. He came to see me, told me that he had to end it, and proceeded to sob for the next half hour. I was sobbing, too, but I was more concerned about him. As sad and upset as I was, I couldn't bear to see him in so much pain. Even though the situation made clear how much he wanted to hold on to his marriage, my most compelling desire at that moment was to make his departure as uncomplicated as possible. I forced myself to say reassuring things, told him how much I loved him, and even tried to bolster his spirits by telling him that I would always remain his friend. He had brought along an old conch shell that had once belonged to my grandmother, so old that it was almost bone instead of shell, that I had asked him to hold on to so that it would not be stolen by the druggie scourge. I refused to take it back. "Keep it," I told him. "And if you ever feel yourself really, really missing me, just put it to your ear and you'll hear me whispering, 'I love you.'" As a writer, I knew it was a great line, and it had come out of nowhere. It made him cry even harder. As he was leaving, he turned to me and said, "If she and I break up, I'm coming back for you, you can believe that." Then we kissed and he drove away. I took no comfort in his parting words. When you wiped them free of the tears, they said what he had been saying and showing me all along. I was still his second choice.

As it turned out, our second break-up lasted even less time than the first one. We maintained our email correpondence, with me writing encouraging things and sending links to "how to repair your marriage" websites, and him gushing about how hard he was going to work to make things up to his wife, but how he still needed my "loving support" even though we were no longer going to be lovers. He told me that he was going away for a few days with his wife and son, and even though I made him promise not to write to me while he was gone, he insisted on sending me "secret messages" via YouTube videos. One of them was "You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" by Gladys Knight and the Pip. He followed it up the next day with a brief email in which he told me that he missed me and needed me to make him happy. I was numb. After what we had just gone through, he still wanted me? It had to mean that he was finally beginning to see the light. He did love me. Just as much as I loved him. I had loved him enough to give him up without struggle when it seemed to be what he wanted, and now, with time and distance separating him from the crisis that had precipitated his departure, he had decided that I was worth all of the trouble. In the end, the scumbag who made the threat never followed through and eventually ended up in a mental health facility. And when my man returned, it was with a new, unabashedly possessive attitude toward our relationship. No...he still had no plans to leave his wife, but he was at least ready to finally tell me that he loved me. Hearing him actually say the words that I had imagined him saying so many times, I felt as though I had passed some test set out by the universe and was now being given my reward. If he loved me, and was no longer afraid to tell me that he did, it must mean that it would be only a matter of time until we would be able to claim our relationship in the eyes of the world.

I had already made him the center of my existence, more concerned with being available for him whenever he had the time for me than I was with my writing or anything else that I could have been doing instead. But now the sheer thrill of knowing that he loved me became the driving force that carried me through each and every moment of the day. He reciprocated by confessing that he "thought of me all the damned time." The crisis we had endured seemed to have done nothing but push us closer. Pre-crisis, he had always done his best to offer advice and lend support when I needed it, but now he began to behave as though my happiness and peace of mind were his number one priorities. When I finally found a new job a few weeks after our reunion, he put me on a budget and made me show him a list of all the expenditures I had made in his absence. He helped me move from the house I had been sharing with my son, and when I agonized over some of the things he wanted me to leave behind, he promised to replace them, telling me that they were just things and it was best to just walk away and start over again. I did as he suggested, happy enough just knowing that we were together, secure in his love for me. My friends got tired of hearing me rhapsodize about him. One friend, in particular, told me that she was disgusted by the way I let him control me. I told her that she simply didn't understand. It wasn't that he was controlling me, I explained, it was just that he wanted to help me improve the way I dealt with practical matters. And, best of all, he was doing it because he loved me.

He helped me find a tiny new place that I could afford on my own, and, as he had promised, replaced the things that I had left behind. He continued to help me when I had trouble paying some of my bills, but was unrelenting when it came to unneccessary purchases. One of the things that my ex-husband and I had fought most about was my spendthrift ways, but, now that I had met the love of my life...the only man who I believed had ever really understood me and who preferred to "teach" me better money skills than to berate me for having lousy ones...I took great pleasure in trying to make him proud of me. Our relationship had deepened and grown into something that we both admitted it would be hard to live without. "Do I make you happy?" I would ask him over and over again." And he would reply, "Yes, you make me happy." On a few occasions, after I had had a little too much to drink, I brought up the matter of his marriage, pushing him to tell me if he really did intend to leave his wife. He told me that he loved his wife...but he loved me, too...and even though he knew it was hard on me, he needed us both right now. "Someday, though," he added, "when the time is right..." He didn't finish the sentence. I didn't push for more. I wanted to believe that I knew what he meant. He seemed content to let me believe it. He showed me over and over again what I took as proof of his absolute commitment to me. And despite the fact that he hated to talk in "absolutes", as he called them, when I asked him if there was anything that would ever make him go away again, he told me there wasn't. "Just don't pressure me," he said. "I won't," I told him. "As long as I know that you're not going to leave me." He smiled. "I'm not going to leave you," he said. "I promise."

In March of this year, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. He was as worried as I was, but did his best to be reassuring. After my surgery, which turned out well, he actually left work one day to come and take my temperature after I sent him an email telling him that I was hot. "I was worried that you had a fever from some kind of infection," he explained. Because we were banned from having sex for six weeks following the surgery, I tried to make up for it by pleasuring him, which seemed to bring us even closer. "Tell me something really special to help me get through this," I commanded playfully after one of our "it's all about him" sessions. "I'll always love you," he said. For a man who hated to talk in absolutes, it was a huge admission. It meant everything to me. I had lost so much since my divorce, endured so many disappointments and worked through what seemed to be more than my share of uncertanties, but despite all of that, I was happier than I had been in years. I knew what was important now. It wasn't things, or money, or social was love. And I had finally found my piece of it. I would wait for as long as it took for that love to bring him to me on a permanent basis. It wouldn't be easy, but I could do it. He was worth it. It was what I had tried to explain to my friends over and over again. It was no longer a matter of whether I deserved to have a man who was willing to be with just me without making me waait until the "time was right." For me, the world was now divided into only two types of men: him and not-him. I wanted him.

This Friday, it will be two weeks since I logged onto my computer at the usual time and found an email that said, "Nitey nite. Will write in the morning." A cold shot of fear went through me as I read it. Was he sick? Had someone died? It wasn't like him at all. He was a total creature of habit, always beginning and ending his nightly emails the same way: "Hi, I hope all is well...I miss you, I love you..." I spent the whole night worrying about him. In the morning, he came to see me, just as we had planned, but I knew the moment I saw the grim expression on his face that there was something wrong and it had nothing to do with him being sick. We went inside and he cut right to the chase. His wife had found out about us, she had confronted him, and he had told her that he would end it. Just like that. He hadn't told her that he was sorry that he had hurt her, but now that she knew, it was time to come clean about his unhappiess in their marriage and how he really wanted to be with me. He hadn't even told her that he needed time to think about what he was going to do. He just admitted that he had been seeing me and promised to never see or write to me again. Just like...fucking...that. He started crying, just like the last time he had dumped me, but he seemed more scared than sad. "I can't leave her," he told me. "I look at her face...and I just can't do it." No mention of my face. I'm pretty sure it was wearing an expression similar to the one that had been on his wife's, but, apparently, it didn't move him in quite the same way. He did afford me the courtesy of claiming that his life would be hell without me. When I reminded him that he was in love with me, and that he had promised to never leave me, he mumbled something about "another time and place" before asserting, without even a hint of uncertainty, that "this is the right thing to do." Then he left. I had been crying, too, but not as much as he had. To be honest, I was too numb to cry. Twenty-four hours before, we had exchanged emails in which we had made joking references to how much we were looking forward to being able to have sex again soon. And of course how much we loved and missed each other. But now it was all over. His wife had found out. He had to end it. Everything he had said to me, everything he had promised and let me believe had only stood as truth as long as she didn't know. Now that she knew, the only thing that mattered was saving his marriage to the woman who had supposedly left him so unhappy and unfufilled that he had sought me out, pursued me until I finally gave in to his needs and desires, and a twist so cliche that it causes me pain to even write it...allowed me to give him my heart knowing all the while that it was only a matter of time until he gave it back to me...broken.

He didn't write to me for three days after I last saw him. But I kept writing to him, demanding closure, insisting that he at least show me the respect of answering some of my questions: Did he ever really love me? Why were his promises to her more important than the ones he had made to me...the woman he claimed had made him so happy? He finally wrote back and told me that he had really loved me, but when his wife confronted him, he realized that he loved her more and that, after twenty years together, he felt he owed their marriage another shot. Yes, I had made him happy. I had made him greedy with my generous compliments and efforts to please, and he had shed a lot of tears since he last saw me thinking about our "times" and wondering how I would make out. Most of all, he wanted me to know that he was never going to seek out another woman again. "I promise you that," he wrote, as though that promise would make me feel better about all of the other ones he'd never had any intention of keeping. The ones he now admitted he had made simply because wanted me to be happy. We exchanged a few more emails, and I told him I loved him enough to try to be supportive of him even though he had decided to return to his wife. He told me that he appreciated my support and still loved me as a friend. But I got a little too upset when he started describing how he and his wife were working at being closer. My less than accepting attitude made him angry. He sent a final email in which he stated, flatly, that he could not take the drama anymore, and..."I'm closing this email address. I wish you well. Take care. Good-bye. Love..." And that was it.

My email inbox has never looked so empty. I have never cried so many tears without knowing exactly what it is I'm crying about. Is it my own pain and sense of loss? Or is it the fact that he lied to me, knew he was lying, and didn't even seem to think it had been wrong? I suspect that at least some of my tears are for the hurt I felt when I read that final email. So cold, so terse, so completely devoid of even a shred of compassion for the woman who made him her life for two years, not just because she was stupid, but because he allowed her to believe that he wanted her to do it. No...wait. That's not fair. He didn't just allow me to believe he wanted me to do it. He really did want me to do it. He enjoyed it, he found comfort in it, and it made him feel all the things he never felt at home. And he would still be allowing me to do it if his wife hadn't found out and his sense of guilt hadn't driven him to cast me aside so that he could give his marriage another shot. In one of his last emails to me, he wrote that "in the back of our minds, we both knew this was wrong." Well, perhaps it was, technically. But one of the worst things that I've had to deal with in the aftermath of his sudden and seemingly effortless departure is that he had no problem at all doing something he now calls "wrong" as long as he could get away with it. It was only when he had to answer for it that he discovered his new religion. And in the end, what it comes down to is that all he's lost is the part of his life he was willing to share with a compatible partner who did her best to please him on every single level. But me? I've lost the man who was my life....and one more huge piece of my foolish, battered heart.

That's my tale of heartbreak. I'd be interested in hearing yours.

1 comment:

  1. I love you G!! <3 <3 Stay strong, one day at a time. I hope you have a good support system, Jersey is too far for a beer, but Im here!