Ultimately, once I found my legs again, got up and dusted myself off I’d learnt – it’s better to go through the pain and live in truth than continue to live in delusion and lies. The journey to that was crawling the gauntlet on coals of fire. Sometimes the pain consumed me so bad I couldn’t see any end but fire cleanses and if you won’t wake-up I guess it takes a good smack in the face.
I also discovered it’s scary how deep in a web of illusion you can be, you’ve literally got no idea you’re living a lie. That was me, living the lie.
Love at first sight, in a faraway place
My ex-husband I used to call “the love of my life” and my “soulmate” and I meant it. We’d had a romantic start, met in a tropical paradise and had the whole love-at-first-sight passionate thing going. I’ve always had a romantic heart and I look back now and see it’s got me into a lot of trouble… and a lot of fun. I don’t regret any of it. Do I regret marrying the ex, yes maybe I do regret that because it has become clear I was the only one truly committed to our marriage.
Looking through bubble-wrap
He’s a complicated, difficult man and very prideful. Though not so prideful that he bothered to ever get his life together and stop making me clean up his continuous messes from his continuous bad decision-making. See that was my first mistake, I thought he was a man, he’s not, he’s still a teenager pretending to be a grown-up. That was exhausting, carrying someone who never carries you back.
Self-analysis and criticism are not difficult for women, so I see where I went wrong. So deeply in love was I that I ignored all the red flags. Skipped merrily right over them insulated in a warm cosy thick blanket of love, I felt safe – I wasn’t. Oh! He was so good at that, it’s hard for me to describe to you. He used to make me feel sooo loved, so adored like his every happiness depended on me. When someone loves you hard like that it wraps you in a bubble. I guess it’s hard to see the truth through bubble-wrap.
The smack in the face
When he told me, he wanted to leave me ten years later he said our marriage “was only a piece of paper”. That came as one of the biggest shocks, I’d believed we both believed in our marriage. This conversation happened after I picked up his phone that he’d dropped after passing out on the sofa. I was just picking it up off the floor to put on the coffee table but there was a still active chat conversation on it. With someone I didn’t know called “Sam”, I didn’t even know if it was a woman or man but whoever it was my husband was professing his love to them in the same way he had to me. Turns out it was a she, but for a moment there I was so confused I wondered if I was married to a man having an affair with another man.