I know that I said I would never write about this again after Little White Lies, but these two years have really changed me. I feel that I am ready to tell you the truth about what happened (if you don’t already know), and touch on the transformation it caused within me.
In the Spring of 2012 He Who Must Not Be Named and myself moved in to a home (that was thankfully owned by him), and began renovations on something we were proud to call ‘ours’. For six months, we worked diligently to make the home our own—and I was more than excited to be on our own, starting some kind of adult life. During that time, we were often on different schedules, making it difficult to see each other. However, because of the job he had, I knew it would be difficult. As time went on, and work on the house slowed down, I started to notice changes that I really never said anything about. He Who Must Not Be Named worked afternoons, and would sometimes go out with people from his shift afterwards. There would be times, I’d wake up at 4 in the morning—and he wouldn’t be home. I’d check my phone to have a text “Hey! Went out with some coworkers, and don’t really want to drive home (or don’t feel comfortable driving home) so I am staying at so-and-so’s house. See you tomorrow, love you!” Most of the time, I would let these things go, but when I did say something, it would spark arguments, so I never really liked to bring it up. I could tell, deep down, that he was disenchanted with us. He wanted to be young—but I wanted to force something that probably was just no longer there.
During this time, I had gained probably 20-30lbs (which, in the end would contribute to a total of 70lbs that I had gained while we were together). I was taking antidepressants, all the while quietly dealing with the loneliness I felt every single day (since I was so far away from family and friends). I couldn’t figure out why I was gaining so much weight, and made an appointment with the doctor to see if it was perhaps a thyroid problem. When the test came back, everything was fine. There was no thyroid problem. There was a ‘me’ problem. So I called He Who Must Not Be Named to have a conversation that we’d had numerous times before throughout the course of our relationship:
Me: The doctor said everything is okay. I think I just have to diet and exercise.
Him: Yep, that’s what you have to do.
Me: I’m really going to try and make an effort this time.
He didn’t really say much. I know why. We had many a conversation like this during our 6 years together. I was always fighting the battle---and every time I made some headway, I would just let go. Consistency had always been my downfall, and when you hear someone say they’re going to do something over and over again (and they don’t)….you just kind of stop cheering them on. We had just celebrated our 6 year anniversary the month before, and attended 3 weddings that year. There was a great deal of silent pressure coming from me---but a lot of expectation and questioning faces from everyone else. Every time someone asked “When are you getting married?” I would always say “We’re waiting” or “We’re not ready”. In the past he would always say “We’re on the 10 year plan” or “I want to wait and see how we do when I start my job (because of the difficult schedule).” I honestly didn’t know what to say, because I was ready---and I guess he wasn’t. Moreover, I didn’t want to push the issue---because forcing someone to marry you never ends well for anyone.
The night we had that conversation, he was quiet when I got home. I took a shower, and sat down next to him on the couch. The air in our house was so thick; you could cut it with a knife. Sad thing is I just could feel something was wrong the moment I walked in the door. When I sat down on the couch, he was folding laundry. The following conversation ensued:
Me: What’s wrong?
Me: No, something is wrong, I can tell.
LONG PAUSE & AWKWARD SILENCE
Him: **Sigh**---well, I think that we should think about taking a break to figure out where this is going. You just, you just don’t seem happy, and I think you need some time for yourself.
Me: No, please, I don’t want to do this.
Him: I think that you just need to figure out what you want, and I think some time apart would be good. I think we both need that.
More conversation happened after this, but honestly, I can’t remember it. I just packed all of the clothes I would need for a week, grabbed the dog, and went out to the car. He put my bags in the car, and said:
“I think you just need to really reflect, and take some time. I am sorry”
He kissed me on the forehead, and went back into the house. I just kind of stood there. Got in the car, and went to my parent’s….not really knowing where things stood.
The next day, I called the Employee Assistance Program that we had through work. If this was on me, if I wasn’t happy, then I was going to work on myself. So I made an appointment with a therapist. That morning, He Who Must Not Be Named emailed me and said:
“Do you want to have lunch? I think we should talk.”
So I agreed. When I saw him, he gave me a big hug. Told me this isn’t what he wanted, that he wanted to work things out. So, me being me, afraid to be alone, and afraid to live life without him, agreed.
No more was said about this incident after that. He didn’t bring it up. I was afraid to bring it up, and really thought it was a bit weird that he never brought it up again. So we went back to our normal lives.
A week passed—and that following Saturday was Sweetest Day. He brought home an Edible Arrangement as a gift for me, and although I was happy, it just seemed, again, like something wasn’t right.
Monday, October 22, 2012:
It’s a brisk cold evening, and the sun is about to set. I am literally walking out of work when the phone rings. It’s him.
Me: Hi baby! How was your day?
Him: Hey. Listen, this just isn’t working. I don’t think we should be together anymore. I wrote you an email. I want you to read it. We can discuss when I get home tonight.
Speechless, I hung up the phone with an “OK”. So I opened the email and read. The email was titled ‘Letter’ and was a forward from an email that he had written to himself the evening before.
So I read….
In it, he basically said he didn’t want to be in a relationship anymore. Didn’t know if he wanted to get married because of his parent’s divorce, didn’t know if he wanted to have children. He just didn’t know.
He then went on to split all of our assets, in a manner that he saw fit. He essentially got everything, and I got the dog (whom I love dearly). He explained that he planned on selling the house in the Spring, and that was that. He asked to temporarily keep the couches that my parents gave to us as a gift, as it was easier for him to sell the house with the room furnished.
There was more to it. However, the fact of the matter was, in the five minutes it took for me to read the email I realized three things:
- He’d been thinking about this for some amount of time. It was too organized and calculated
- In 6 paragraphs, he basically summed up 6 years of our lives
- It was over. For real.
So I went back to our home. The home we shared. The home we built, I packed a week’s worth of clothes, and the dog (again), and I left. This time knowing that I would only return to pack my life up.
During that time, he called me to see if I read the email. I explained that I would not be home when he returned from work. At the end of the day, sitting in that house for 6 hours waiting for him to get home wouldn’t do me much good. As always (in our relationship) he had made our decision, and it was final.
In the aftermath of all the wreckage He Who Must Not Be Named caused, I felt so many things. Two months after he emailed me, he started dating someone else. Then a year later, he got engaged to her. Hence, Little White Lies.
I felt betrayed and taken advantage of. I felt alone. I felt discarded. It took a good year for me to actually just let it go. I don’t write about this now to dwell on it, and I don’t write so that everyone can know what he did. Moreover, I don’t write so you can feel bad for me. I’m over that. I write because, I think I can finally say I’m thankful for what he did. As sick and twisted as that sounds, the manipulative manner in which he did things taught me so much about him, myself and life in general. I found out about him, and found out about me. Everything I closed my eyes to, really came to light—and I realized that I’d been living complacently for quite some time.
There were a lot of tears. For a long time, I put the entire onus on me. I took the blame. I wondered and wondered. Then there came a time, when I just let go. I reasoned with myself, and realized that it takes two to make something work—and the two of us just couldn’t do it.
Then something miraculous happened. I was able to use this whole situation to create a new me. I created a woman who is no longer dependent on someone else. I’ve burned off my frustration, sadness, anger (and whatever else I’ve felt). I’ve used it to shed nearly 50lbs. The weight of him, and the weight of it all has slowly been lifted off my shoulders---and I am not nearly done yet.
Last month, I participated in my very first race. It wasn’t any old regular race. It was a 3+ mike obstacle race known as ‘The Spartan Sprint’. It was muddy, and it was tough towards the end. There were at least 3 times towards the end of the Sprint, where I literally said ‘I cannot do this, I am too tired’. There were tears, and there was swearing---but I crossed that finish line. I crossed that finish line and then I hugged my friends. I hugged Jules, and just sobbed. Sobbed because, I did something I never would have been able to do otherwise. I did something athletic, and difficult, and challenging. I did it---and in a way, I showed myself (and him—even though I didn’t really ‘show’ him), that I am a completely different person. Closer to the person I want to be. The person I should be.
After the race, I was on an extreme high. Then it kind of faded, and my brain caught up with me. I told myself I should have done better, should have been stronger, should have been faster, I should look thinner, should be more toned. I should, I should, I should. At the end of the day, I am telling myself, that I need to learn the hardest lesson there possibly could be: appreciation. Losing nearly 50lbs in a year is amazing. It takes hard work. It takes sweat, and blood and tears and sometimes those moments of doubt. Nevertheless, I need to learn to accept where I am at, and appreciate that if I continue on this path, I can be where I want to. These changes I am making take time, and unfortunately undoing what I did to myself for the course of those 6 years is not an easy task.
So as I set my sights on the future, and attempt to decide what I’ll take on next, I remain thankful for everyone that’s cheered me on along the way. I appreciate that I can look back two years, and understand the pain I felt---but also feel thankful for it. That pain, was the catalyst for the very person I am at this moment. I don’t know what the future holds for me…and no one does. If they did, I would sort of feel sorry for them. I think Sandburg said it best:
“I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.”