January 3, 2014 at 10:27 am #48273
I was one of those girls. I met my husband when I was 13, he was 16. We dated all throughout high school; I never met the face of heartache. He was my best friend. My only friend; we did everything together and were never far from each other. When I was 17 he joined the Navy and I was so scared, I broke up with him. We communicated the whole time he was in boot camp, writing each other as much as we could – trying to maintain some sense of normalcy. I travelled to Chicago with my 2 girlfriends to see him graduate. We began seeing each other again after that…
He came home shortly after graduating, we were inseparable again. Sitting on my childhood twin bed, me, not much more than a child myself – he asked if I would marry him, I was 18 then. I cried and said, “yes”. We were married weeks later at the house of a pastor. Weeks after that, I was moved from my childhood home to an apartment a few hours away from everything and everyone I’d ever known. Just him and I – on our adventure, on our way to being adults. We moved where the Navy told us to move, he went where the Navy deployed him. He was my everything and I was his… When he would leave, I would become severely depressed and resentful. You see, he wasn’t a very social guy… he would’ve rather it just be him and I, because of that we never made any friends. No one really liked his sarcastic personality; he was hard to get along with. In a way, I think by being this way, he protected me from the heartache of the world. I was naïve.
In March of 2012 he left for his final deployment as my husband. He was going to spend 8 months away from home; I, spending 8 months sitting at home, alone. That May, I made some accidental friends – my life changed. I’d never made friends before, he was the only real friend I’d ever had and he was gone – trying to provide for us. My overwhelming loneliness made me cling to what I’d never had before, a group of my own friends. We partied and kayaked and did all sorts of outdoor things, I bonded with all of them, especially one.
We instantly became good friends, he had a long distance girlfriend and I had a long distance husband. With partying and good times on top of loneliness built up over a very secluded 10 years of marriage, my judgment became clouded. He and I made some poor choices which put me in a situation I vowed to never be in. I cheated on my best friend, my husband, and I was falling in lust with a man I barely knew. He broke up with his girlfriend and he and I spent the summer together, while my husband was away. Lust faded and we were becoming something more. My husband was coming home soon; I knew what I had to do. What I had done to our marriage, to myself, and what I was going to do to him – it wasn’t fair. I told my friend what I had to do, I had to leave my husband – there was no coming back from what I had done, it wasn’t fair to him. I couldn’t lie to him and I couldn’t live with what I had done. I had fantasized about leaving my husband for a while… I was happy with our friendship but it was a lonely and secluded relationship. He wasn’t affectionate, and when he was all I could do was recoil, he was more like my brother.
“I think I’m falling for you”. My friend whispered, as we were falling asleep. I instantly started crying. No, he can’t fall for me. I was falling for him too though – I’d never felt like this before. What does a child know of love?
My husband came home; I told him I was leaving him. He was completely devastated but he didn’t put up much of a fight. I left, with my dog, and got my own apartment. My friend and I would then begin spending every day together. I was at his place, or he was at mine – this went on for months, seemingly happy, or so I thought.
He went away for work for a month; we stayed in contact the whole time… I let him borrow my iPad so that we could talk when he wasn’t working. We talked every night for a month. When he returned, he gave my iPad back to me and forgot to log out of Facebook. When I took it to work with me the following Monday, I went to log in to my Facebook account and I saw that I had messages: “I miss you.” This was not MY Facebook, but HIS and he had forgotten to log out, I had no idea. He was messaging his ex-girlfriend and I was sitting there watching it. He was apologizing to her for doing her wrong, saying that he missed her and telling her that he wished he could take it all back. I don’t know why I was surprised but I was and I went off the deep end. I called him, cussing him out – I texted her and told her everything. I went to his house and got all of my things and dropped all of his things off on the front lawn… a bit overdramatic, but I was hurt. Needless to say, we broke up and I left the facebook logged on and I kept watching what he was saying to her; it was hurtful… He told her that I had been happy but he wasn’t. She rejected him, saying she had a boyfriend who was good to her.
He began contacting me again (it didn’t take long) and I let him have it. Of course he did the whole apologetic thing then began telling me WHY he did it. He was married once, his wife cheated on him while he was deployed. He said he felt tremendous guilt for doing what we did and for doing what he did to his ex-girlfriend. He spent hours apologizing and saying that when I broke up with him is when he stopped doubting us and started realizing it was me who he loved and me who he wanted to be with, that he was just being foolish by contacting her and that he wanted to fight for me, he had changed so much for me (his friends were all shocked by how he was with me). I told him that I knew everything he said to her – he said that he didn’t want to hide it, and that he started trying to “get her back” because he was going to revert to his “old ways” (he became very promiscuous after his wife hurt him). That he just thought “Fck it” because I was already gone and then she rejected him and he realized what he was doing, and it wasn’t what he wanted. I was foolish because I really felt love for him and let him back in.
Fast forward 5 months and he has completely transformed. No more secretive behavior. No more hiding the cell phone, he’s turned into an open book. He does little thoughtful things for me and we spend a lot of time working on “us” now. He’s working really hard to prove himself to me. He’s a different kind of man than my husband was. He’s quiet when we are alone; he’s the life of the party when we are with friends, he’s affectionate. It’s been a very bumpy road – it’s hard for me to trust him. No one has ever made me feel unworthy; no one has ever broken my trust. I’ve taken it very hard and I know it’s far from what I deserve. I deserve much worse for what I did to my husband.
I’m overwhelmed with guilt, even though I’ve apologized and spoken at length with my husband – we remain friends. I don’t deserve his friendship; I deserve him to hate me but he doesn’t.
I struggle daily with my trust issue that I now have with my friend because of his foolish behavior; I constantly doubt everything and I’m filled with skepticism, always thinking the most negative outcome – for no apparent reason, because he really has changed his tune. He is constantly reassuring me, apologizing for what he’s done to “us”, and being there for me when I’m upset and insecure. I don’t know how to relax and stop worrying. Or should I? I don’t know how to release my guilt for what I did and then forgive him for what he said to her. This is not me. I’ve broken myself.
I used to be vivacious, sweet, caring. Now I’m hard, selfish, angry, and negative – I wish I could find myself again.
I am foolish. I am lost. I don’t know where to begin.January 3, 2014 at 11:05 am #48274HelenParticipant
I believe you need to start with forgiving yourself and accepting that you are human. Not one person in this word is perfect, and not one person in this world is unworthy of love and forgiveness.
You are a different person now than you were when you were 18. You experienced life, emotions, new ways of thinking. It is impossible to go back, and even undesirable. Every experience you have, every choice you make, are a condiut to growth, and valuable in their own way. You may not believe this now but sometimes being broken to the core can lead to amazing things. Still your mind, and listen to your heart. All the answers are there, wiating for you to see them.
Your feelings regarding your friend are understandable. After what you went through, it is normal to have doubts and wonder whether it will happen again. Again, still your mind, and listen to your heart. What does it tell you to do?
Reading your life story, another thing stood out for me. You were never truly on your own, without a man, to learn who you are on your own. When we are in a relationship, we inevitably change slightly to accomodate to the other person. If we never experienced a period of non-relationship, so to say, how can we know who we truly are? Because of your self-doubts, self-disgust, do you think it may be a good thing to distance from a relatiosnhip so you can claim some time to truly heal form all the emotional turmoil?January 3, 2014 at 11:12 am #48276
Thank you, Helen.
I feel like a child, everything is so new to me – I have no idea what I’m doing. And you’re right, I’ve never been alone – aside from deployments with my ex husband. I think your last statement is probably the best thing for me. I should give myself time to heal from it all. I just don’t know where to begin, I dont want to hurt anyone else.
Thank you again. I really wasn’t expecting anyone to have kind words for me.January 3, 2014 at 11:24 am #48277HelenParticipant
Jenn, we all start as children and I believe we all go through some sort of turbulence before we stabilize. You are not alone in your fears, your are not alone in feeling you are broken. Whenever we start something new, whether it’s something as simple as riding a bike, or as complicated as building a space station, it is normal to feel a certain degree of fear. But you will also feel excitement. When you feel the vibration of the right path/answer for you, you will feel a sense of peace and profound relief. That’s how you will recognize the correct path for yourself. No one can give you the answer, just pose the question to get you started. And when you start to feel doubts again, which will inevitably happen, just remember that sense of profound relief and keep going forward.
Begin by saying “I don’t want to hurt myself any longer” and take small steps towards the path that feels right for you. Once you start, it will pour out like an avalance and you will build more confidence and comfort in knowing what to do next.January 3, 2014 at 11:51 am #48280
Saying that to myself makes me feel a sense of calm. I’m sitting at work right now trying to quietly cry…
I think I just needed someone to tell me it was okay to forgive myself and you’re right – all I’m doing is hurting myself. If he’s forgiven me, why can’t I forgive me?
It’s going to take some serious work… I’ve spent a year hating myself and everyone around me.
I don’t want to hurt myself anymore. I want to smile genuinely again and the road looks long.
Thank you HelenJanuary 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm #48293UTBuddhaParticipant