My Ex is Getting Married
A friend asked me a while back, “What are you going to do if your ex gets engaged again?”
“Put on something sexy, go to his house and get him back. Obviously,” I replied, relishing her reaction.
I was joking, of course. The thought of actually doing that – trying to get him back – seemed so far removed from the realm of possibility that it seemed like a beautifully ridiculous response. And, joking about the topic was a hell of a lot easier than dealing with the actual emotions I would feel if this should ever happen.
Correction: when this would happen. We all knew it was inevitable. But somehow, you can know something is going to happen with every essence of your being, but then when it happens, it can blindsight you.
Last summer, I shared with you how my ex was dating Tina – his high school sweetheart who coincidentally divorced her husband right when we cancelled our wedding, who was also coincidentally secretly texting with my ex fiancé almost every day the last eight months of our relationship. The funny thing is, Tina wasn’t even part of the reason we ended our relationship after seven years. She was just the tip of the betrayal iceberg.
I don’t have the emotional capacity to get into the story about how Tina and my ex came to be, but it’s pretty well documented here. And by pretty well documented, I mean I had verbal diarrhea and used my blog as an outlet to express all the pent up anger I had toward my ex. The post was titled “Hello, Anger,” but the runner-up title was “I Knew You Would Move On … But Did It Have To Be With Her?”
Just when I’ve recovered from the anger, I find out on Facebook that my ex fiancé is now engaged to Tina. Yes, on Facebook. Even after my ex told me – promised me – that he would tell me when he got engaged. He swore to me I wouldn’t have to find out from some third party. I deserved better than that. He owed me that.
This shouldn’t have surprised me one bit. But somehow, it was a shock to me. I was so certain he would keep his promise, this last promise he made to me. I believed a piece of him must have loved me enough to show me the respect to tell me himself.
I was wrong.
I found myself staring at her changed relationship status and all the congratulations of her friends and family. Before I knew it, I was looking at a picture of them post-proposal. The picture was strikingly similar to the picture he and I took after he proposed to me. I think it was even taken in the same location.
What did I do? Change into a sexy outfit, race to his house and get him back?
No. I did the next best thing.
Then I got my shit together and went to a meeting.
Oh, I didn’t mention I was at work when this all happened? Silly me.
Finding out my ex was engaged again was alarmingly painful. Old feelings started to resurface; wounds that I thought were healed were suddenly fresh and red hot. He was mine. He was going to marry me. We were supposed to spend our lives together. He got down on one knee and proposed to me on that rainy October day. And suddenly, he is marrying someone else.
That week, I cried more than I’d like to admit. I got angry. Not just at him for not telling me, but at the unfairness of it all.
It’s not fair that he can break my heart and still get his happily ever after. With the person he apparently always wanted – even when he was with me.
It’s not fair that he can find someone to love – someone to marry – before I do. I selfishly wanted to be deliriously happy before he was.
How can he move on so fast? Here I am, fearful of marriage, a borderline commitment-phobe, still discovering who I am and what I want out of a relationship, and he’s getting married.
But if I’m honest with myself, he didn’t move on that fast. This April, it will be two years since we cancelled the wedding. This July will be the two year anniversary of our unwedding day. Clearly, he could have gotten engaged much faster than he did. But this isn’t just about physical time.
He’s ready but I’m not because I’m still healing. I’m still learning to trust again – to love again. I’m still the girl who wrote this. My heart is mending, most days getting stronger, but it’s still fragile.
I’m not prepared to put a ring on again. I don’t have enough trust in me to promise someone forever.
Perhaps he can move on so easily because he was the one who fractured our relationship. He doesn’t have to live, day in and day out, with this fear that it’s going to happen again. That the person you love will utterly betray you the moment you let your guard down – the moment you give yourself permission to be truly happy.
What if he’s changed, the way Tina thinks he has? Maybe he’s come clean about his transgressions and turned a new leaf. Maybe he’s a better man than he was with me.
If so, that means I was nothing but his relationship training wheels. Hurting me so badly was exactly what he needed to be the perfect husband for Tina. She’s going to get the life, the kids, the future, the wedding, the laughs, the late night talks, the weekly TV shows, the nightly tucks-ins, the “I love you” texts, the everything he promised me the day he proposed to me.
She’s getting everything I always wanted with the man I always wanted. I find myself jealous of a woman I’ve never even met.
Luckily for me, or perhaps this is the defense mechanism I’m using to move past this, I can’t be prisoner to this jealousy for long. Because I don’t believe that people change. If I truly thought he has changed, perhaps I’d be contemplating a visit to his house. I’d script an emotional reunion where I’d prove to him I’m the right one for him. Better yet, I’d up the drama and wait until the preacher says, “Speak now or forever hold your peace,” and scream “I object!” from the back of the crowded church. It’s what they do on TV, and I’m a sucker for an unrealistically romantic moment.
I would do all these things, but I believe he is still the person he was almost two years ago. There was a reason I left him then, which is the same reason I don’t want him now.
The good thing for me is I am not the same person I was almost two years ago. I am stronger. I am more independent. I know now that I can survive anything. I am certain that I made the right decision.
There’s another reason I won’t let this news keep me down for long. Contrary to the tone of much of this post, I truly want him to be happy. I was marrying him in the hopes that I would be the person to make him happy for the rest of his life. Since that’s not going to happen, I’m glad that he found someone to spend his life with. I hope he’s ready to ride without the training wheels. I hope no other woman has to suffer as I did because of his demons. God, I hope he’s happy. Because the part of me that still loves him – that will probably always love him – wants nothing more than for him to find happiness in this world.
And here’s hoping I’ll find it too.
Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.