I was twenty-six when we got married; he several months younger. We'd hooked up years earlier and had been living together.
I was attracted to his kindness and gentleness with me. He rubbed my feet, he made me laugh and I needed a good friend in my life. The sexual attraction and love came later for me.
Love them or hate them, relationships come and they go. It was a good match. We shared many years of really great times together.
We thought that we would be together until one of us passed. It wasn’t to be. He cheated and chose the other woman. The signs were there; going out and pretending to be with the boys, dressing sharp to hang out with friends, talking differently and the every day niceties that had been customary were gone. Ladies we know when a man is cheating because he just starts behaving differently. Who’s he really fooling anyway?
There were no long tearful explanations or goodbyes. He wanted out and I gave it to him. After fifteen years of marriage it was over.
Friends have asked me why I didn’t fight for my marriage. My answer is that I had to fight for me. He was going to be alright because he had someone new in his life. I had to save myself. He’d already made his decision and I had no intention of running after him.
I’m not trying to sound tough or anything. I felt the pain, the hurt, the disillusionment, the disbelief, and the rage. As a woman, when someone leaves you, you feel unworthy as if you aren’t good enough, unattractive and your self confidence and self esteem are shot to hell. The feelings are all so intense and powerful when you're going through this hell.
You see in a relationship, the woman tends to get so wrapped up in the family that she forgets about herself. I’m not saying that it’s wrong but it’s not good for you either. My story is not unique except that it’s about me.
I lost weight and looked scrawny and terrible for awhile. Rage had been inside of me eating my core with my permission. I had to take care of myself.
When a man wants to go, ladies, don’t fight him and beg him to stay. Keep your self respect. You were good for him in the past but a new beginning is here for you too. Let him go. It’s really not about you (his wanting to leave). He's moved on. He has to grow, learn and make changes and so do you.
What Did I Learn?
What did I learn in this relationship? Every relationship is here to teach us something.
I gave up who I am to be with him. Ok, it didn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow process. I gave in, I settled, I compromised and all to keep the peace and the relationship going. It’s a part of who we are as women. We are the mothers and peacemakers of the world.
I gave of myself in unhealthy ways; in ways that violated my boundaries. I didn’t respect myself and do for me. I forgot about myself and took care of everyone else. Sound familiar? I needed to work on me too and to be good to myself. I needed outside activities that made me shine for me and something that I was passionate about.
Yeah, you love someone but he or she cannot be everything to and for you. This path that we’re all on is a journey with bumps, big and small and some smooth ground as well along the way. Every little step of it brings us closer to who we are and what we are here for.
Relationships are togetherness times that teach us about ourselves. You learn the lessons and grow or you repeat them in another relationship until you get it.
This breakup is the best thing that could have happened to me. Oh, I didn't believe it at first. I'd been fighting it in my mind. I wouldn't, couldn't and didn't know how to let go. Letting go is so hard for me to do. It makes me vulnerable.
The fears are the hardest part of letting go; the fear of being alone and not finding someone else. When you keep holding on to the past you can't see what's before you. You miss people and opportunities that are right in front of you.
So, finally I am flying without the safety net. I can see my strengths for the first time. I am strong, resilient, loving and caring. I am so much more, that I don’t need to categorize myself. I can see who I am and possibly where I want to go. Oh, I don’t have all of the answers but who does. I’m learning and growing along the way. I’m scared, terrified, stressed, excited, exhilarated, happy, worried and totally financially strapped at the moment.
Hey, I can’t stay there forever. Things change and so will I and my circumstances too. I have angels watching over me and I am forever loved and blessed.
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© 2009 Chris Eddy111
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