We’ve all heard the story of the boy who cried wolf. Essentially he kept “pretending” to need help when he didn’t really need any help at all. So when the time came that he actually was in dire straights and needed help, no one believed him.
As I sat for lunch with Laura, my friend of 27 (!) years, she asked me, yet again, “So what’s going on?”
And I, yet again, launched into what had happened between my man and I. I almost felt like I was repeating myself, having shared similar frustrations and asked the same ‘why is this happening to me?’ questions I’ve asked and said to her so many times before.
“I feel stupid talking about this. AGAIN.” I play with my zucchini zoodle pasta dish, having entirely no appetite. “I mean, it’s been 2-1/2-years and we’ve broken up how many times? And I’ve been all tears and sadness, unable to function. It’s just ridiculous. At least this time I’m eating, but not so much from hunger but because my body needs it. And if I don’t, I’ll faint. Although I’ve always wanted to faint. I’ve always wondered what that would feel like. But I digress.”
Laura laughs at me. “It’s okay, you just believe in love. And that’s what I love about you, that despite the many set backs and failed relationships, you still LOVE. You believe in it. Wholeheartedly.”
“Yeah, but I just feel like the girl who cried wolf, you know? Because this scenario keeps happening.”
“No, you’re the girl who cried Love,” she said “but understand, this isn’t about you. You’ve done nothing wrong. This is him. It’s all him. He clearly has commitment issues and he keeps certain aspects of his life secret.”
I think about the time he went on a trip to Fiji and he sent me a photo of the place where he was staying. I noticed on the deck there were TWO suitcases. I zoomed in, looking at the suitcases. “Why are there two suitcases? We only packed you one,” I text him, my heart racing. Because what I really wanted to text him was, “Why are there two fucking suitcases????!!!! What the fuck?!”
Him: “I met my friend here, she gets a deal with the resort, and so I basically get to go for free.”
“Don’t worry, she’s married. She lives in Australia, so it’s super close for her.”
And like a FOOL, I just say, “Okay,” but inside I’m seething. And upset. I mean, how would he feel if I pulled that shit on him? ‘Oh, yeah, I didn’t tell you but I’m going to Fiji, a very romantic, beautiful place and I’m meeting my friend who is married, oh yes, happily married, and there’s nothing weird about me not telling you, the person I’m fucking, BEFORE the fact. In fact, nothing weird at all about the fact I’m only telling you because you saw there are two suitcases!”
IF I hadn’t discovered the two suitcases, would he have even told me at all? I mean seriously. What. The. FUCK.
And so begins the LIST. The list in my head that I begin to write down of all the things that gave me pause. All the little things that are, in retrospect, hindsight, whatever, RED flags that I painted green. For go. Because I ignored them and just kept going on seeing him, loving him, falling for him more and more.
One thing I realize is this: if a man gives you pause, for ANYTHING, be it a big thing small, or something in between, stop the relationship. End it right there.
Staying is only going to create more feelings, more intimacy, and at least in my case, more hurt.
When he told me about a certain indiscretion that had happened two months into our relationship (but he didn’t tell me about it until 8 months later), I should have walked. I should have bounced. Actually, I should have paid attention more when he shared with me his reservations about us, where we were going and what we were. But now I realize that that conversation was at the same time he was fucking someone else, so OF COURSE he was having reservations about he and I. He was too busy reserving a space on his DICK for some other bitch!!!!
But anyway. It is what it is. Or in my case, what it most decidedly is NOT.
I do have wonderful memories of us. But I keep thinking of them, and it makes me sad. If I hadn’t stayed with him, I would not have SO MANY memories and then would I maybe be less sad? I don’t know. I seriously wish I could just Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind myself and move on.