Regret No. 2: I Didn’t Know When To Say When

love-rupture-broken-heart-even-shines-with-loveThe second thing I’m kind of bummed about during this whole break-up is that instead of making a clean break, I allowed this to go on for too long. I am still somewhat confused by my reactions, or the intensity of them anyways.

In the beginning, when I first found out about the drugs, I knew …. KNEW…I needed to walk away before things got really, really bad.  I’d seen my husband addicted before, and his rock-bottom was being completely and utterly alone. And maybe I could have done that had he not found my replacement. He’d maneuvered a girl into a position to take care of him without question, and I simply wasn’t going to allow that to happen.

First, there was my pride, which had taken a nice, big hit. Christians aren’t supposed to give in to their pride, but I’ll be the first one to say, pride can be worthy opponent on your most peaceful day. Add some heart break and another younger woman, and it becomes a million times harder to control. I failed….repeatedly… but with style. If you’re going to blow it, go big. I tanked a million dollar lawsuit. How’s that for big?

Second, he’d done all this shifty deceitful affair crap right in front of some people I thought were my friends, and no one said a thing to me about it. Yes, I know the biker code…bros before hos…yada, yada. Turns out, I’m still disappointed in a few people. I think being a wife for decades makes me more invested in this biker than all his bros who knew him only a third of that amount of time. But I couldn’t really blame these people either, because it was Chef who’d brought all of this to be. In one quick move, I knew instantly who was my friend and who was not, and even though I’d suspected who was who in my life, it really hurt to have those suspicions affirmed.

And thirdly, there was just no way he was going to start playing house with this interloper in my house, with my pets, using my clothes and helping herself to the life I built for decades. Chef used jewelry he’d stolen from me and re-gifted them to his new girlfriend. Even after they’d broken up, I pointed out to this girl that the ring and bracelets she was wearing were mine, she wouldn’t return the stuff to me. To this day, I’m creeped out by her lack of  empathy.  So, nope. If she wanted everything in my life, she damn well was going to have to earn it.

I reigned down chaos on Chef and his Back-Up Babe. It wasn’t only revenge, per se. There was a fair amount of fear as well.  I felt a sheer panic thinking he’d die a junkie alone in a locked spare bedroom while the Meth Mistake (who refused to acknowledge that Chef was on some pretty severe street drugs) wouldn’t notice until his rotting corpse began to smell. The house was so awful, it still could have been days even after that!! Again and again, I would point out that no healthy grown human man stays awake for 8-10 days straight, never eats, and talks to his imaginary friends. Forget that he was unemployed the ENTIRE time they lived together (8 months), or that his “friends” always showed up around 2am in the morning. She would just insist that I was lying and just trying to make Chef look bad so they would break up. Even her parents, who were no fan of Chef’s, seemed lulled by his very lucrative ability to baffle everyone with his bulls**t. It was mind boggling.

He did have one set of people, though, who knew him well enough to ignore the words he was saying and gauge his actions instead. Our kids called a spade a spade from day one, and it is noteworthy that Chef quickly wrote them out of his new life as well. Bugletto was living far away, although she was present for a little of the drama, but Bekkie and Dj witnessed almost all of it. Bekkie walked away from him sadly, but firmly, and Dj distanced himself somewhat, though he left the doors of communication open.

I still find it odd that after all the pain, suffering, angst, grief, and general humiliation I experienced because of his very self-oriented behaviors, I was unable to walk away from him for good. He’d steal from me; I’d still give him money. He’d lie to me; I’d still tell him the truth for him to twist to his own purpose. He’d call me horrible names; I’d still buy him an anniversary present, or a Christmas present. And each time I would do something else for him to show him I still loved him, I’d die a tiny bit more inside. What the hell?!!

I have moved away from him now, and I’m on day 2 of no contact. I have learned some little tricks to keep myself from diving back into the cesspool I’ve been treading, and for the moment, they are working okay. I have forgiven Chef, but I haven’t forgotten some of the things he put me through, and I don’t think God is asking me to, either. I need to remember those painful actions, and words, because without those brutally honest realities, I’m inclined to put my rose-colored glasses back on, forgetting what he is capable of should he decide he doesn’t care again, and go back to exaggerating his small accomplishments to balance out the glaring flaws that have always been there for me to see. Worst of all, I’d be hampering any growth and maturity Chef might be capable of should he apply his keen judgmental eye towards his own life instead of others.

I knew a year ago I’d never get back what I once had with Chef, and I was right. What I didn’t know then, though, was that I would come to a point in all of this that I wouldn’t want it back, either. I learned a great deal from Chef, good and bad, and I loved him so very much for a very, very long time. I’m sure I always will have a place in my heart that grieves for what it could have been growing old with him.

But the reason I know I love him still is because I don’t want to live with him, “winning” the female tug-o-war, yet quietly growing bitter over what he did to me, and to the kids, and even to our pets. I don’t want every single memory with him in it tainted during the many, many painful arguments that would be sure to come as we tried to pick up the broken pieces of our old life and move on. I don’t like my own reactions to his seemingly callousness sometimes, and even worse, I don’t like my cold stiffness anytime he reaches out to me in his loneliness.  I know he’s hurting too, but my own pain has driven me into hiding, and there just doesn’t seem to be anything left in me to stop his bleeding, too. I hate my own coldness. I guess I just don’t like who I am when we’re together.

I know it’s time to put this rabid relationship down, like Old Yeller, and that’s what I’m trying to do minute by exhausting minute. Hopefully, the earth will start spinning again, and each minute won’t be an emotional battlefield between what my heart wants versus what my brain knows to be best for everyone.

— Bird

23 responses to “Regret No. 2: I Didn’t Know When To Say When”

    • I think you’re right. It’s been so hard to not pick up the phone and call him! I don’t even have anything I want to tell him. I just keep reminding myself that time had been helping me heal, and if I can make it a little longer, it’ll begin to get easier. Man. This really sucks.


      • It does really suck. I’ve not been in your very shoes, but I’ve been in similar shoes of having been connected to someone who was bad for me, and yet it was hard for me to break away.

        You do have this big pile of people who care about you, who are here to hear your words, on whom you can lean, even those who don’t know you personally, but we’re here. Keep on leaning on us. We humans have to stick together! It’s a big ol’ messed up world out there and we’re all in it together. (Ramble, ramble, ramble… trying to give you some words to distract you from the toughness of the situation in which you find yourself, but also, really, I care. And I see that a lot of others do, too. I can’t tell ya what to do, but I’m here to hear ya.)


        • Sometimes, just getting thoughts out of my head and on to a screen really helps. It feels like cleaning out a festering boil. I’ve made a lot of really special friends on here. I praise God! Writing is the one thing I really depend on for relief! Thank you for all of your kind words. They really, really do help!!!


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