The events of the last couple of days has made me do an assessment of the serious relationships that I’ve had in my life, and I am seeing a bit of a pattern, and it is definitely not a good one. I have to be honest, I am not caring for what I see. I was going to post this on my “other blog”, but I didn’t really feel that it belonged there. This post falls into the category of “random babbling” so it’s better suited here.
Let’s do a basic recap to get some perspective.
B.S. (The Abuser) – A charming man with a fast car, lots of money, and a love of fun and excitement. I dated him starting in my late teens, and I believe he was my first real love. We had an embattled relationship for nearly three years. We loved and we hated. We fought and we made up. We broke up and we got back together. He screamed and I cried. He threatened and I feared. I pushed and he roared.
One night during a huge fight, he pulled a knife on me, and that was the end of our relationship. I walked away and could never go back. I didn’t press charges against him, even though my friends and family begged me to do just that. He pleaded with me to take him back, but the line was crossed. There was no “do over”.
He then began to show up at different places that I was at. He seemed to be everywhere, and he would beg me to take him back every time I saw him. After several rebuffs, he resorted to threatening me, and I finally had to get a restraining order. He violated the Restraining Order, and finally his older brother interceded and put an end to the shenanigans. It was an ugly ass ending to a relationship.
M.S. (The User) – He came into my life at a vulnerable time. Anyone who has started a relationship when in a vulnerable state can relate to this. He was kind and caring when I needed it. He listened and he spent time with me. We did a lot of fun stuff together, and because he was worldly, he exposed me to things that I never thought I’d experience. Unfortunately, he had his own agenda, and he used his charm to get his way. I was scared, alone, and fearful, so I just fell into his game, and I wound up getting used. He borrowed money from me that he never paid back, and I had to take him to court to sue him for it. He was manipulative in many ways, and I played right into it. He didn’t have a car, so I would always drive him places. His manipulation and charm guilted me into feeling like I owed him something, and I lost me in my attempt to please him. I don’t know when I actually realized that I had enough. It was probably around the two year mark that I walked away, and I never looked back.
R.J.C. (The Cheater) – He was the brother of one of my closest friends, and we started our relationship backwards. We were in bed before we really knew who we were and what we were to each other. Blame it on being young. I was about 21 and he was 18.
Hindsight being 20/20, I should have run from this relationship before it ever got started, but I didn’t; much to my own detriment. We got deeply involved, and we fell in love. We eventually got married (mainly due to the pressure from his family), and it was a marriage that was NOT made in heaven. He was a good guy with a wonderful sense of humor, but he couldn’t hold down a job, and I spent most of the early years supporting him and paying for all the things that we would do together. In our later years, he did help support our household, but he never really found his niche, and he hated every job he had.
We had a lot of fun over the years, but that was because we were carefree and didn’t give a damn about the future. We went on vacations, we saw our friends/family often, and we had an awesome social life. When this relationship was good, I can honestly say it was the most fun I ever had in my life.
Sadly though, the marriage hit a speed bump, and we ended up in marriage counseling. That only helped for a while. It was more like a band-aid being put on a gaping wound; a temporary fix to a very serious problem.
A few years later our differences erupted again. We would fight and bicker in public, and we would snap at each other with nasty and negative comments. Eventually the love faded, and we grew apart. I don’t know exactly what happened or why it happened. I probably never will. All I know is that when I filed for divorce, he was apathetic and he was seeing someone else.
When we finally divorced, there was a deep animosity for each other. When we saw each other for the very last time while in the attorney’s office to sell our joint home, we outwardly tried to be cordial and polite, but on the inside I knew that both of us were spitting fire! At the time I was too angry to see it for what it was, but now, many years later, I no longer blame him for the demise of our relationship. I realize that it takes two people to tango, and I was equally to blame.
S.B. (The Liar) – This was the man who I thought was the true love of my life. It was an odd relationship. It was long-distance as I lived in New Jersey and he lived in California. How did we meet? Well, you can thank the internet and chat rooms for that. We carried on a long-distance relationship for nearly 2.5 years. It was surprisingly good for most of it, even in spite of the distance. We talked on the telephone, we used our pagers to communicate short sentences, we wrote endless emails, and we chatted online nearly every day. It’s amazing that two people could become and stay so close in spite of a 3,000 mile distance separating them. It wasn’t until I’d fallen for him that I learned that he was married with two children. He’d somehow managed to lie to me and keep that from me. He told me that he was unhappily married, and that he wanted to leave her and be with me. By the time I learned that he had a family, I was in too deep to walk away.
Can anyone see where this is headed? We made plans to meet to see if the feelings that we’d developed were real. I flew out to California, and we spent just short of five days together. When I tell you that it was perfect, I mean it was PERFECT. The chemistry was there, the love was real, and it seemed to both of us that we might be able to make it work – even though I was outwardly honest about my feelings of being a “home wrecker” and “the other woman”. He assured me that he had not loved her in a long time, and that he would leave her.
A few months later he flew out here, and we spent another five days together. I was amazed that things were going so well, and we started making plans to mold our lives together. He wanted to stay in California to be close to his kids, and the obvious answer was for me to move there to be with him. For some reason, I was fine with this, and I didn’t see it for what it was. Can you say “Rose colored glasses”?
Somehow though he never seemed to be able to tell his wife that he wanted a divorce, and just when I thought that it was time to shit or get off the pot, she found out!! He’d accidentally left a chat window open, and she read what we’d written to each other.
Needless to say, the shit hit the proverbial fan. He notified me via pager on a Friday night that his wife knew about us. I waited three full days until Tuesday morning (because Monday was a holiday) to contact him at his office. Those were the longest three days of my life. When I got him on the phone on Tuesday morning, he told me that he was going to work it out with his wife and he told me to never call or contact him again. I was devastated beyond belief. I have no words for the deep and excruciating pain that I felt. I went into my friend’s office and I literally cried to her for hours. I was a total wreck. I felt like someone had reached into my chest and ripped my heart out.
That night I made my friend come over to my house while I packed up everything that tied him to me. I packed the greeting cards, the gifts, the letters, and everything that reminded me of him. I put it all in a box, and the next day, I put it on a shelf in the warehouse of our job. I cried for days. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I just couldn’t believe that he could do this to me. More so I couldn’t believe that I had actually put myself into this situation because I always swore I would never date a married man.
As time went by, the pain was still there, but I was functioning again. I learned to deal with what I was feeling, and eventually life went back to normal. Just when it did, he called me saying that he wanted me back and he was leaving his wife. I was skeptical, but I fell for him again – hook, line and sinker. Stupid me! I should have hung up on his sorry ass, but I didn’t. And I had to do the pain of his break up a second time after he decided that he was staying with his wife.
M.C. (The last one who left) – Eventually my heart healed enough to begin to put myself out there again. I met a nice guy who was a teacher. He seemed perfect. I admit I was skeptical and I know that he knew it. I never completely shared my “love stories” with him, but I think he knew that I’d been burned on numerous occasions. We fell in love. We got married. Life for good for us for about 7-8 years, and then the tough times hit. We were forced to deal with issues in his family that required us to step up to the plate to help them. He developed severe health problems that were partially due to his own neglect and apathy over the years.
The combination of this took the fun and spontaneity out of our marriage. Financial issues developed. Fighting started. Truths were uncovered. Chronic illness reared its ugly head. I became disheartened. I did what I believed was right, and I stayed with him, caring for him, managing his doctor appointments, and taking care of the many things that needed to be done to keep our life functioning.
I put my own dreams, hopes, and desires on the back burner. Several of my closest friends questioned my reasons. My reasons were simple. I loved him, and my marriage vows included “for better or for worse”, “in sickness and in health”, and “until death us do part”.
I don’t consider myself crazy. I consider myself dedicated. I loved him. He was ultimately my best friend. In spite of our obstacles, I still adored him. He made me feel safe. He cared for me and he protected me. He was my husband. We lived in a “World of Two”.
Then he died. Suddenly. Talk about shock and horror and terror. But that’s a whole other story.
In many ways, our marriage died when he was diagnosed with his chronic illness. He tried to stay upbeat, but he always knew that he would die young. He tried to prepare me for it. He tried to give me advice. I didn’t listen to him because I didn’t want to think about it. But I did hear him. One of the many things he told me was that he wanted me to find someone with whom I could settle into a comfortable life. He wanted me to find love again, and on more than one occasion, he made me promise that I would.
Well, let’s jump to the present….
My neighbor, M. P. who I have known for about a year and a half asked me out to dinner. We would pass each other just about every day as we’d walk our dogs. A few times he would walk along with me and we’d just shoot the breeze. We didn’t talk about anything much, mostly about the dogs and the neighbors and the weather. Around Thanksgiving he told me that he and his wife had split up, and I’d told him about Mark’s passing around February or so.
On Saturday afternoon, he and his dog stopped and waited for me and Belle to catch up to him so he could walk with us. We just talked a bit about the normal every day things. Then he asked me if I wanted to have a dinner with him during the week. I didn’t know what to say and I knew he could tell I was flustered. He then repeated it saying that we could have a casual dinner date to see where things go. He told me to think about it, gave me his number, and we continued on our walk.
So yesterday I get home from work, and as I normally do, I took Belle out for her evening walk. As I get close to my house, I see my neighbor walking towards us from the opposite direction. He catches up to us, and he starts his normal conversation. He asked me if I was just getting home from work, and I simply told him that I was. He made a comment about betting that I didn’t want to cook and wouldn’t pizza seem like a great idea.
I was not planning on cooking, but instead I was going to have the last of the Vegetarian Chili that I had in the freezer that a friend of mine cooked for me. But after a few more minutes of M. P. telling me all the benefits of going out for dinner, I agreed to go with him to a local pizza place. He offered to drive. I told him that I need 20 minutes to get changed and cleaned up, and I’d meet him at his house. When I came out, he was parked in front of my house in his BIG ASS SUV. I swear I almost needed a step stool to get into it!! We went to get pizza, and he tried to sit next to me in the booth. I was not comfortable with that, so I used the excuse that I am left handed, and one of us would wind up wearing our food if he sat there. So he sat across from me – reluctantly, I do believe. I don’t mind sitting next to a date, because it’s really sweet and cute, but not a “first date”.
We shared a vegetarian pizza. We had a nice time. We talked about work and careers. We talked about where we grew up. We talked about our love of dogs. We talked about a lot of things, but nothing deep or intense. I did make it clear that I was not looking for a serious relationship because I felt I was not in a good place for that yet. I thought he understood.
I got home a little bit before 9 PM, and as I was climbing out of his truck, he did ask me if I wanted to go out for dinner again over the weekend, but I simply (and politely) explained that I needed to pack and get ready to move. Although he looked disappointed, I felt that he understood.
This morning I walked Belle about 30 minutes earlier than I normally would, but as I passed M. P.’s house, he stepped out with his dog. I was not particularly happy about it. I wanted to go for a long brisk walk with my iPod blasting in my ears, and I wanted to just clear my head of the cobwebs. Now I had to make idle conversation which I knew would just make me irritated. I really love my morning walks and often take the side streets to avoid the normal dog walkers.
So we walked and talked. I kept one ear bud in my ear, so I could listen to my music. I don’t think he even noticed since my hair is so long, but even still it would have been considered rude to do that. As we approached my house, after a shortened walk, he asked me if I wanted to go out again tonight. I had to reiterate that I was packing and getting ready to move. He again asked about the weekend, and I simply said, “We’ll see.” I pretended to walk into my house, and when he was out of sight, Belle and I went back out for our long and therapeutic walk around the neighborhood.
To make a long story short, he’s proving to be a stalker of sorts. He texted me seven times before lunch. I finally had to text him back to tell him that I can’t be texting on my cell phone all day because it’s forbidden to do so at the office. About 12:30 PM, I got another text from him asking me when I go to lunch. I ignored him. Then a little after 1:00 PM, he texted me again, and he wanted to know if I wanted to talk at lunch time.
Ugh!! Stalker! Like I need that? I don’t think so! My friend googled him, and we think he lied about his age. He told me that he was 52, but based on his profile on our condo website and the information that various websites provided, he is really 39 years old. I joked with the girls at work that if I don’t show up for work in the morning, we all know what happened to me.
I half expected him to be waiting for me when I walked Belle this evening. But I managed to take a 20 minute walk without ever running into him. He hasn’t called and he hasn’t texted me. I’m fine with that. I have already done the “stalker” and I have no desire to do that ever again.
Geez, aren’t there any normal guys out there? It always seems like the ones you don’t want are the ones that chase you, but the one you do want is the one who plays hard to get and pulls away. Go figure!