I have spent the last few years struggling….emotionally, physically, financially – and despite or perhaps in spite of all, I have tried to find love. I always believed if I could find just one person who will love me, have my back, things will make sense. But I learned that you can’t find true anything, especially love when you are so lost and struggling. You find pieces. I have allowed the wrong people in my life the past few years.
I recently found myself so sad, crying inconsolably because an ex found happiness with another woman. Yet when the tears dried, I took a good look in the mirror and asked myself what was that all about – you don’t even want him back. All true. We were toxic together. But in my vulnerable state, I made it all about me and my own feelings of unworthiness. I thought I was too sick, too broke, too old – that is why he is treating her so much better than me. I kept questioning myself and a few friends, why could he change for her but not for me? Why does he love her more than he ever loved me? Ha! My eyes are wide open now.
I am sure there are many of us out there who dated a guy, had some great times with him and then he says something like he doesn’t want to be in a relationship or that he’s not ready to settle down. Then BAM … six months later, you find out he’s engaged to the next woman. Huh? How did that happen? And even more curious still … why her and not me? I have learned, the hard way, it’s not about me. I would obsess about all – what went wrong, how things could have been better, different, what the new woman has that I don’t, etc. I could go on and on, but the real question has been: Why am I obsessing over a man that clearly didn’t want, love or respect me?
No more losing sleep on someone who is just not worth my time nor energy. I can see how my friends may think that all my lamenting means I am not over him, or I want him back. But its not about that. For me, its about learning, accepting, growth. Honestly, it’s not that my ex never recognized that I was a good woman; I truly believe he just wasn’t ready to grow. If we are lucky, we all grow and change over time. Certain experiences, both positive and negative, change us forever.
In any relationship, there are unintended hurts, offenses, and betrayals. Over time some things are resolved, some things are healed, and some things create wounds that begin to erode the relationship despite the attempts to move past it.
When someone new comes into the picture it creates a new dynamic. It’s a clean slate, for one thing. There is none of the history, hurt, and toxicity in the new relationship. Since the new person is different the whole relationship is different. And hopefully we have learned valuable lessons from the last relationship. For me, I choose no more self-blame. I understand now how I allowed some of his behavior. I take responsibility for my part.
Naturally, I have seen him step up when a woman doesn’t take any nonsense – You could say he respects a woman who won’t tolerate his nonsense. But in reality, I shouldn’t care so much how different he is with her. What I see is all surface. I have no idea what is really going down behind closed doors, and I shouldn’t. He’s her problem now.
I logically understand that my ex may remember some of the things that were important to me and do them for his new girl. Since she didn’t have to beg, or even ask, she reacts with delight that he is so thoughtful. He feels good because it she seems so simple to please. Its a beautiful cycle. Yes, basically, she is getting the benefit of my past struggles with him. I get it. At first, trust me, I was hurt, I didn’t like it. But with each passing day, I am a little more thankful. I am even a little happy for him, and her. Yes, I am. They make a great looking couple. I hope it lasts. But then I recall just how bad it was, and just how narcissistic he was. And I almost feel bad for both of them. He has issues that he needs to resolve before getting too serious with anyone. I just hope he receives the help he needs.
A friend reminded me that some people, especially a narcissist don’t really change. He will romance this new lady just like he did me at first. He will be charming, romantic, sensitive, and he will be everything she always wanted in a man. He will tell her how different she is from me, how she is his dream woman, and how I never appreciated him. He will deny any angry outbursts or violence but if he can’t deny it he will explain it away as it being a “very difficult time” in his life – subtly casting the blame on me.
He will make her feel like a princess as long as she is providing something he needs – supporting him financially, admiration, a place to stay, or the “look” of a normal, responsible man. I couldn’t pretend for long – this is why we never worked.
Sadly, for some people, things don’t really change. A person can only hide, run from the truth for a certain amount of time. Eventually she is not going to be enough for him either – she’ll suffer a financial setback, gain some weight, get an illness, or become aware of his crap. The pattern will continue, but luckily not for me.
Yes, I need to accept the fact that my ex is going to treat women in other relationships differently than he treated me. I am learning not to make take it so personally. It’s not a true statement about who I am. My ex failed to see my true value. His loss. So a final good bye. I am working on me – rebuilding my life, my strength, my health, and regaining my self-confidence and just moving on forward … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.