Better Left Unread

I refuse to make someone feel like they are second best.

Like they are a consolation prize.

As if they are not what I want but I am lonely so I will put forth my best efforts to enjoy their company and make them feel like they are the partner I have been looking for and not just someone I am with because I cannot be with the one I want.

I refuse to have someone lay next to me while I dream about the past, then when she wakes me see the disappointment in her eyes as I tell her about the woman that grabs a hold of me when I am the most vulnerable and lacking control, and how that wasn’t her because I believe in honesty.

I refuse to sit next to another while song after song plays on the radio that remind me of something that lost and not something I have found.

I refuse to have some other have to pick up the pieces of a man who is broken because of another woman, a woman who is years in my past but will always be of my future for many reasons but at minimum because of my boys.

I refuse to put another through what I put her through that after close to 20 years she was able to just get up and walk away from with shocking ease.

And I refuse to put any other woman through what I cannot figure out doing so wrong to a woman I have loved for more than half my lifetime.

I know what it is like to come in second, or third, or fourth, and shit sometimes I didn’t even place. I have heard it all “you are so nice but…”, “you are like a brother, so…”, and “I cheated on you because….”. I have been told that I will never be good enough for a daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, and friend, and it turned out they were right. And I have been told that no matter how much I sacrificed, worked, fought, and exhausted myself to provide, to lift when she was feeling low, to find the perfect gift, to always do what is right that it didn’t come across that was but as something devious or sinister when that was the furthest thing from my mind.

So when others ask me why I am not dating, why I am not putting myself back out there, why I have gone three years without the embrace of another, and I respond “I am not doing it, for them, for whomever may come across and want to try something but have no idea what they may be getting into, I cannot break someone else’s heart.” I cannot do to another what was done to me or what I cannot comprehend as having done that was so wrong. Much of this was said to me right after she left and was emotionally drained and may have needed someone to take out her frustrations on but the fact that some of it could be true and I cannot ignore that I have to have responsibility into this break up even though she met another and left for another. What was it about our life together that made that so simple, what was it about what I was doing that it was as easy and quick as she was just shutting the lights off at night. One day you are “in love” and the next it is over and she wasn’t sure she had loved me for years. Why didn’t I see that and would I be so suspecting of another that I would constantly be on edge about the very same set of circumstances playing out that I would essentially force that very outcome. Why is this such a mind-fuck?

“But” some will say, “what if she wasn’t good enough for you? (unlikely) What if the actual person you are supposed to be with is right out there and you will be happier than you ever were with her?” I cannot deny that as a possibility. I believe wholeheartedly that there is someone out there for everyone, sometimes people do not get put in the right set of circumstances to find that person, maybe he is hers and by us living our lives the way we did they got to meet, maybe she was mine and I got to experience that for almost 20 years and now this is just how my life is supposed to be. Maybe I am a guide for others to find what they are really looking for and when the time comes I am to leave them at their destination of choice and start the trip all over again, (by the way, I wrote a piece a while back on the word “Maybe” and how I was trying to get it out of my vocabulary, I have failed apparently :)).

I guess my point to this long rambling shit of a piece (sometimes you have to get the crap out to allow the good stuff to come through, so…Sorry?) is that I believe there is a way that you are supposed to treat someone that you are committed to, a set of values that I have garnered from those stupid romance movies that are a guilty pleasure.

  • I have never cheated, nor have I ever put myself in a situation where that could be an outcome,
  • I won’t speak of the attractiveness of another woman as I don’t want her to feel that she is lesser in anyway,
  • Gestures – they are different for every one so flowers but not just roses her favorite flowers at random, or a dinner, or a surprise, or a comic book. What ever she would get excited about.
  • Random acts of silliness – laughter was something we always had, until we didn’t.
  • Responsibility – handling the responsibilities together but always making sure that what was mine was covered.
  • Love – making sure she knew she was valued and loved as often as isn’t nauseating.

This was how I did it, it may not be right, it may not work for any other and as someone whose wife left for another man maybe it wasn’t right for my marriage but no one ever said otherwise. I don’t know what I don’t know and I am not sure I will ever know what or if I was the cause, or what percentage of my “relationship values” caused her to find comfort in another. Not knowing is really difficult because it is hard for me to know how to adjust what I do to be able to make someone happy and I don’t want to hurt anyone finding out that I adjusted when I shouldn’t have or didn’t adjust when I should have. I am probably thinking too deeply about this and over complicating everything. Point being is I am not sure I could put all of that together again to treat another the way they should be treated. I am not sure I have the energy anymore to put forth that type of an effort, I am not sure I have the heart for it.

When I gave myself to her I gave her everything, when she left I didn’t get any of that back. It was like the kitchen appliance or blanket, it was an object that was boxed up, labeled something innocuous to her new relationship like “towels and stuff” my life being the “stuff”, and taken with her and I cannot seem to get it back. I don’t dare ask for it back because I am not sure she even realizes that she has it, she probably placed it in storage, on a shelf, and hasn’t bothered to look to see what is actually in there. Sure maybe I could build a new one, or head to Wal-Mart or Target to see if they have one there, as they seem to have everything else, maybe it will be on sale and I just need to watch the advertisements. Of course it could have been thrown away or donated as he brought his own “stuff” and she no longer needed mine. My “stuff” now resides on a shelf of a goodwill store unlabeled because no one seems to know what it is but they priced it cheaply and placed it on the shelf with the “knick-knacks” hoping someone will buy it as a conversation piece for their next social function.

“Oh Patricia, you always have the most interesting items on display, but what is this? Who is the designer? I just love how sad and discarded it looks!”

“Oh that,” she says rolling her eyes, “I got that as a gift from Clarence’s sister, it is hideous, but he insisted I put it out while she is here for the weekend.”

Well, I am just going to conclude this piece, throw it out there and have it be gone. Maybe I am an asshole who is way off base in thinking that I ever hurt anyone, maybe I am right to spare the outside world my awkward 40 year old attempts to speak to the opposite sex, maybe the reason each relationship has ended with the girl (younger years) or woman in the arms of another man is exactly my fault, maybe I am and will always be a guide and never the guided, or shit ,maybe am way too amazing for anyone to truly understand and be able to handle and that in my amazingness I intimidate love and its natural path, hahaha, that’s gotta be it.

Apologies if you read it this far but we do not offer refunds so…..

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