I don’t want to be forgotten. But I don’t want to have to be pushed out either. For three solid weeks I had him to myself. His attention, his affection, his devotion. He became a habit. My habit. Between talking, texting, and email, we were inseparable. We made plans that felt like promises. Promises of us in the future.
Even when his wife discovered me, instead of thinking about her and concerning himself with ensuring that she stayed or keeping her, he spent time with me, planning, telling me he was leaving.
After their initial talk after the discovery, he was a bit wobbly, but determined. And still sure. He knew he loved me, that he was in love with me and he wanted to be with me. He said he was choosing for him.
But then the tide shifted, his wife returned home after several days away and he had to see her and stay with her as her heart was breaking. He had to experience her pain. It’s hard to witness a breaking heart, especially if you are the one doing it. It can make you change your mind.
So that night he told me he needed time to think, time I had been giving him all along, but this time was different. I could feel him shifting.
And true to my instinct, he did. My heart was easier to break because he didn’t have to see it. He didn’t have to watch how crumbled it left me. He didn’t have to experience the devastation while having to live under the same roof as me. He wasn’t as affected. Plus, I was the stranger in the room to begin with. I was the third party. The one who didn’t belong.
They have history, years together, a commitment, a child. I was just a new exciting toy, a fresh breath of air he desperately wanted. No, more like needed, according to him. I woke him up, so he said. I helped him get to a place where he could confront things that he had been ignoring for years. I should feel special, right? So why does it make me feel used?
Shame on me for allowing myself to be someone’s paramour, the side piece. I deserve better, more, all. Shame on him for searching for someone outside instead of dealing with his shit.
In the beginning I had no intention of becoming romantically involved with him. I was just trying to be a friend.
But love has a way of sneaking in and blindsiding us. I still don’t know how or why. It just happened. It just is. We had (and still have) this undeniably deep connection right away that refused to be stifled. Believe me, we tried. Several times, which were epic failures.
So now, after three weeks of having him all the time, I have to be without him. The idea of never talking to him again was a double heartbreak. Plus, we still have to interact indirectly because we are involved in a circle of others that share similar interests and hobbies. But I knew we couldn’t just be friends anymore. I can’t be his friend without wanting all of him.
So I tried staying away. That lasted maybe two days. Because habits are hard to break. Especially when you are broken hearted and know that he still feels the same way.
We’ve been texting. It hadn’t been very long since the fallout, a little over a week. Our texts are short, surfacey, not very personal. He watches what he says and I do the same. And we definitely don’t talk all day like we used to. I feel like I’m trying to wean myself off, slowly kick the habit because cold turkey hardly works.
Still, I wonder if his wife knows we are in contact. If she’s even asked him about me since he decided to stay. I know I would. I would give him hell, questioning everything, fighting like mad to ensure this didn’t happen again.
I would do everything I could, couples therapy, alone time together, long conversations, whatever it took to get to where we needed to be solid again.
Or maybe I would leave him. Maybe after finding out he was in love with someone else, maybe I would come to a realization that I don’t want to stay married to someone who wasn’t in love with me, not the way I want or deserve. Or maybe I would hate the idea of having to share his heart with another woman, constantly wondering if he secretly wished he was with her, even if I was the one he came home to.
But I’m not his wife. I don’t know how much or how little she knows. Or if she even wants to know. Maybe it’s easier to pretend like it didn’t happen. Like I don’t exist. A temporary slip up on his part. Maybe he told her everything and she’s choosing to trust him. I don’t know. But I suspect her and I have very different ways of dealing with things.
All I know is, he still responds to me. He hasn’t told me to stop contacting him. Which I’m grateful for. But I don’t want it to get to the point where he has to tell me that.
So I’m trying to wean myself off, as difficult as it is. Because part of me doesn’t want to let go. I’m afraid that if I’m not around, he’ll forget about me, forget how he feels about me.
Absence can make the heart forgetful. This is my attachment issues talking. The very ones I am actively working on. The ones that can keep me stuck.
Then I tell myself, if he can forget me in a week or a month or even several months, if he can fall out of love with me that quickly, what kind of love was that? Not the love I believe we have. Most certainly not the type of love I deserve. I deserve more than something fleeting. And if it was real, if it’s still real, it’s going to last, whether I’m around or not.
So I’m learning to slowly let go, even if it means my grip gets a little looser everyday. That I text him a little less or am able to fight the urge to do so more often.
Because he is continuing his life, moving on with or without me in it. And I don’t want to be told to leave like an unwanted visitor that’s overstayed her welcome. I want to move on of my own accord, the only shred of control I have in this fucked up situation.
That’s where I’m at. This is my process. I am imperfect, but that is okay. I’m a work in progress.