In the last year, I have been examining people and their motivations, including my own. It hasn’t been any easy process, but I’ve felt that I have needed to get more nuanced in the details of human behavior. I want to understand where things have gone wrong in my own relationships, and what I could do to not fall into that trap again.

Here are some things I have learned:

I have a hard time letting go.  I love hard and try hard.  I miss you a lot longer than I should.  Long after you show that you don’t deserve me.  Long after you walk away and replace me.  I’m working on this, but I’m not really sure how to stop caring about someone.

Your ego got in the way of a successful relationship.  I really just want to be treated well; with love and respect.  It shouldn’t be that hard.  I don’t want to be subjected to your narcissism, or your contempt.  I don’t want to have my boundaries belittled or trampled.  I don’t want to be raged at when I offer a suggestion or advice that you don’t agree with.  I’m not questioning your masculinity (although if this threatens you this much maybe I am); rather I just think a partnership includes a two way dialogue and input.

I want a man who acts like a man.  I don’t want to have to make all your appointments for you, or remind you 4,743 times to pick up something from the store before you actually get it.  I don’t want to have to worry about whether you filed your taxes or paid your bills or if you ever put money into savings.  I want you to take care of your shit, and do your share of taking care of the shared shit.  I want to let go of the reins sometimes, and leave things in your capable hands.

I want to be surprised sometimes.  I want a man who plans the weekend getaway, who gets the groceries for camping, who takes care of the arrangements so I don’t have to.  That’s been a rare thing in my life.  Too rare.

I need to trust.  That’s been the hardest part of this journey of mine; the disintegration of my ability to trust.  When your words don’t match your actions.  When you caused my tears yet you do nothing to try to make them better.  Trust issues are the death by a thousand cuts.  I sometimes wonder if I will ever trust a man again.

I want to hear the truth. And I want to hear the apology when it’s needed too.  I don’t accept you turning it back around on me and blaming me for your behavior.  I’m certainly not perfect, but I do apologize when I have been wrong or hurtful.

My therapist said that the best deceivers can keep up the facade for about six months.  That’s probably about right.  It’s so discouraging to think that by the time you even start to see someone for what they are, you may have wasted a half a year.  I don’t have a half a year to waste every time.  Every half a year I waste is a smattering of gray hairs and worry lines.

We always want to believe that the one who went away… still longs for us.  But chances are they don’t.  You may cross their mind in a season of unease.  Hard times always make us reflect.  But when they’re engrossed in a career, family, life in general, they aren’t thinking about the person they left.  Remember this when you find yourself wasting precious time on the ones who walked away.  They walked away.   — Alfa Holden

I’ll keep trying to get better at letting go.  It’s sad that of all the skills I thought I would need to know, this one is the one I need most.




8 thoughts on “Anniversaries…

  1. “My therapist said that the best deceivers can keep up the facade for about six months” – dang. That sounds about spot-on from some of my past experiences. You’re right – it sucks that half a year can be gone by the time you really see someone for who they are. Sending hugs and wishes for peace and joy, both with your emotional journey and relationships moving forward

    • Pretty much spot on with my experiences as well. Maybe one day there will be someone who is still being true after a year, five years, twenty years? That would be nice and would certainly give me peace and joy!

  2. You were hurt deeply, and it’s hard to forget and probably impossible to forgive. People with big hearts can be damaged easily. That is very interesting that people can deceive others for about six months. Good to know! Thank you for including that.

    • I’ve learned that forgiveness is often for your own self. To let go of the pain and bitterness, but not necessarily forget. I’m working on that. You are very right; it seems that those of us with big hearts are often the ones who are hurt the most.

  3. “Fragile male ego, my ass.” Testosterone makes most of them think (and act like) the world revolves around them and nobody else matters or even has any feelings.

    Can you tell I am also working on forgiving myself for wasting at least 15 years if not the whole 30 years we were married? I will never forgive him, though, for many of the things he said and/or things he refused to do. I doubt I’ll forget them either, but that just gives me strength to realize that walking away from him was and still is the right thing to do.

    • Well my most recent relationship was with a narcissist. One of the hallmarks is incredibly low self-esteem, which they hide with their cruel, demeaning behavior.

      It’s hard to break free and move on. There are a lot of things that both my ex-husband and ex-boyfriend did that I’m still working on forgiving. Not for them, but for my peace of mind. Stay strong.

      • Our actions and reactions are the only things we can really control. As I’m sure you know that requires a lot of painful hard work and why it is so easy for us to go back down that rabbit hole, to that place we thought we’d escaped before we even realize it. I’ve been fortunate in a way in that I was single for a long time before I married and now still have many of the girlfriends who saw me though the difficult periods of my marriage and can still serve as a reminder of the point I had reached before I went so far down that rabbit hole.

      • I’m lucky in the sense that this relationship was long distance, so he didn’t have the same opportunity to try to isolate me from friends and family, or control to the degree that he wanted to. I do still miss the good times and the good parts of him, but recognize that those were not truly real. He has now moved even farther away, and is marrying his next girlfriend. I guess it remains to be seen how that works out; I feel badly for her.

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