**Just a quick note to say hello to all the new readers from being Freshly Pressed Tuesday! I’m really excited to meet you all and am glad you are following along on my journey. A recap: I started this blog last summer after cancelling my wedding to my love of seven years. This blog is about me starting over and learning to love my new life. I look forward to getting to know you all better. Thanks for reading!**
I’ve felt so proud of myself this whole time, smug really. I’ve never really gotten angry at my ex. Even after all the lies and the complete disrespect he showed for what we had and our pending nuptials, I didn’t get angry with him. There were moments here and there when I lashed out, maybe threw my engagement ring or memorabilia box at him, but there was never a time where I felt disgust or hate for him. I always felt sorry for him. Why? Well, because he lost me. (Duh – Obviously.) I always thought I was the bigger person, wishing him well, trying to forgive. I was unwilling to hold serious ill will for the man who I almost married, even though he had ripped my heart into a million little pieces.
We’ve all heard about the five stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. According to Wikipedia, “It’s important to note that these stages are not meant to be complete or chronological. Not everyone who experiences a life-changing event feels all five of the responses nor will everyone who does experience them do so in the order that is written.”
I definitely went through denial, where for weeks after we cancelled the wedding, my ex fiancé and I pretty much acted as though we were still a couple and that nothing had happened, well except for the fact there were moving boxes everywhere and we were sleeping in different rooms. I went through the depression several times this year as well. And I’ve always been bargaining with myself, telling myself that if I find someone better, then this will all be worth it. If something good comes out of this breakup, like the blog or a writing career, then I will be happy. I guess I’d always thought I had glossed over the anger stage. Maybe I didn’t get angry, I thought, because I was the bigger person. (Now you know what I mean when I said I was smug?)
I believed that I had finally reached the Holy Grail: acceptance.
Well ladies and gentlemen, I’m here. A year and two months later, I’m angry. Correction: I’m pissed. I’m aware it’s a little late. It’s not like you can yell and scream at someone who broke your heart more than a year ago.
Maybe now is a good time to tell you the runner-up for the title of this blog post, which is:
I Knew You Would Move On … But Did It Have To Be With Her?
I saw my ex a few weeks ago. When I saw him, he mentioned that he was seeing someone off and on, a few times a month. At first, this didn’t bother me at all. I had moved on too – hell, I was blogging about it.
You could say I was feeling all healed and warm with acceptance. Sure, a few thoughts of, “I wonder if she’s prettier than me?” and “Is he happier with her than me?” crossed my mind. The minute I started to picture him and this unnamed woman together, frolicking in the meadow, in love, her wearing my engagement ring, I had to completely shut the whole thing out of my mind. But these feelings are normal, right?
So, I did what any unhealed person who thinks they are healed does – I went on his Facebook page to see if I could tell who he was dating. I know, mature. I’ve never claimed to be perfectly balanced.
And there it was, staring me right in the face. His high school sweetheart, let’s call her Christina, or Tina for short, had posted a love song on his page. Just a Kiss by Lady Antebellum. Gag me.
Some history is in order. Tina and my ex fiancé dated while they were in high school. It was some epic love story where her parents broke them up because they wanted her to marry a preacher. Tina and my ex fiancé break up, she marries a preacher and lives in a faraway land, where they have two children and live happily ever after.
For years, I felt a little insecure about Tina. I felt like my ex still had a thing for her, but don’t we all have a thing for our first love? I’ve admitted before that I have some trust issues/baggage, but ultimately, I trusted him when he told me had zero interest in her. She was married, to a preacher of all people, he told me. She had children, and he would never want to be with someone who already had children. And, she was not attractive anymore – motherhood had not done her well.
Even when my ex fiance’s brother married Tina’s sister (I know this is getting complicated, I should draw a flow chart), I wasn’t concerned. I mean, I was just a few months away from my own wedding to the man of my dreams.
And then my world crumbled around me. I found out my ex was not the man he pretended to be. Toward the very end, he gave me a password for his cell phone account. He was trying to earn my trust back, and I asked him, “Am I going to find any more lies when I look at this account?” He assured me I wouldn’t. So, I went through his cell phone records, only to find that he’d been texting with Tina daily behind my back for about eight months, all the while deleting any evidence of these conversations from his phone.
“Seriously? Tina? Why didn’t you tell me you were talking to Tina behind my back? You knew I would find this on your phone bills. You gave me the password!” I asked him incredulously.
“I don’t even know how to tell you the truth anymore. I’ve been lying for so long, I simply can’t be honest with you,” was his response. Well if that doesn’t make me want to marry you, I don’t know what does.
He and Tina both swore that these conversations were innocent. She was a married woman, after all. They were simply catching up and talking about how crazy it was that her sister ultimately married his brother. And don’t you know that takes eight months to talk about? Tina admitted she hadn’t told her husband she was back in touch with my ex fiancé, but that was because it was innocent. “If it is innocent, why would you keep it a secret from your husband?” I asked. She didn’t have a good answer.
When I ended the relationship with my ex, the Tina stuff barely had anything to do with it. It was just the tip of the ugly, deceitful, heartbreaking iceberg.
A few weeks ago, when I saw the love song on my ex’s page, posted by none other than Tina, I almost threw up. Tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. I felt so deceived, so hurt, so … consumed with anger.
It turns out that after my ex fiancé and I called off the wedding, Tina and her husband got divorced. How friggin’ convenient. And now they are seeing each other. There’s a constant “Really With Seth and Amy?!” SNL skit running through my head:
Really? You ended up with the girl you always said you wouldn’t? Really?!
Really? She ended her relationship with a PREACHER for a liar like you? Really?!
Really? You guys were rekindling your love for EIGHT MONTHS while you were days from marrying me? Really?!
Really? You couldn’t tell me that you were dating Tina, when you STOOD IN MY HOUSE and told me you were seeing someone “off and on.” Really?!
Really?! She fell for your BS? She thinks you have changed? Or maybe you haven’t told her the whole truth about what you did to me – and who you really are. Really?!
I’m so incredibly angry, in a way that isn’t mature, healthy or attractive. Angry at him, angry at her, angry at the situation, angry at myself for even being angry. Jesus, I was supposed to be over this. Now was the time for acceptance! Damn it – I was the bigger person! Why am I letting him continue to have this power over me? Why am I now, a year after everything happened, finally feeling the anger and resentment for everything he did to me – not just this?
I can’t stop thinking – why was he marrying me in the first place? If he was texting with her for eight months before our wedding, and then the minute we break up, she divorces her husband for him, why did he put me through this past year? Why did he even propose in the first place?
I knew he would move on. But did it have to be with her?
**Part of me hesitated to post this for a few reasons. Clearly it’s unflattering. I know he’s allowed to move on, with anyone he wants to move on with. And at the end of the day, I can see through the anger that I do want him to be happy. (Who can blame me if I wanted to be happy first?) I’m fully aware that I need to get over it. And I know that I will get over it. This is just another reminder of how lucky I am that I got out of this relationship before the wedding. And, I’m afraid I give him some power by showing him this bothers me. But you know what? I said I’d be honest here. I’m sharing my journey. And this is part of my journey – no matter how unpleasant or unattractive. And I know that some of you have been through something similar. So, I warily press “Publish” this morning, and look forward to your comments.**
Update: Shortly after posting this morning, my ex called me. Which is interesting considering he claims not to read the blog anymore. He was upset that I wrote about this, and wanted to make it clear that nothing ever happened with him and her while we were together. He asked me to take this post down, saying it was a lie. Well, he’s right about one thing. I have no idea what happened with them. It absolutely could have all been very innocent. To be honest, I hope that is the truth. That would be far more in line with the man I thought I was marrying. I’m just here writing about how I’m feeling and what I’m going through. I know that the anger will pass, and I will get over this. But I do not wish ill will on Tina or my ex. What I’m concerned about is me, and my healing process. And posting honestly on this blog is part of that. My intention is never to use this blog as a weapon to hurt anyone. I think the people that have been reading for the past year know that to be true.