It has been 8 days since I told W I could not do this anymore. The enormity of our situation just became more than I can bear. The first 48 hours we spoke via text. Every text I received I was hoping he would say he was leaving so that we could be together, even though I knew that they wouldn’t. (denial phase of grief) He did offer to make the affair easier on me by giving me more time and calling more frequently. (bargaining) He also said he wanted to get counseling to help him deal with his feelings of guilt that he had about leaving his wife. (bargaining) I maintained exactly what I needed in a relationship and wasn’t willing to accept less. He either needed to do what was necessary so we could be together fully, or I needed to move on, but being the OW was not an option for me anymore. Eventually, I replied to one of his texts and he never responded. I didn’t contact him after he didn’t respond. My friends said that my last text to him sounded like a goodbye, I didn’t intend it to be that, but I wasn’t going to contact him again. If he had wanted to contact me could have, but he chose not to. I had left the ball in his court, and I had my answer. The last contact I had with him was just over 5 days now.
The first 7 days were some of the hardest of my life. The first two days I was an anxious mess and second guessing myself, but even the limited contact I had with W made them a bit easier to bear, I think I still had some hope. But when the no contact happened on what would have been the one year anniversary of us meeting (a great way to celebrate that milestone) I began to sink into a spiral of black depression and raw sadness. Then two days later was Valentine’s Day with not a word from him either, I knew I had to take a closer look at what and who exactly was I grieving.
I spent Friday, Saturday and most of Sunday holed up in my place. I let my mind wander wherever it wanted. I cried, I blogged, I cried, I blogged. I slept when I felt like it, when I could. I ate what I wanted, which wasn’t much, because I felt on the verge of vomiting. I shut most of the world out, but a select group of friends. The friends that I knew would listen and let me just grieve without giving me pep talks or downsizing my loss. Let me add here, that having close male friends is such a perk when dealing with this as they can give you the male perspective. Having them lay it out exactly what it meant that he had chosen this and to end contact with me was a real eye opening experience. It was not a fun time at all. It was excruciating. At tmes I felt like my sadness would break me in two. The anger that I felt the first two days at him letting me go had now turned into a black hole of despair as I tried to wrap my mind around a life without W.
Slowly, the fog began to lift some by Sunday night. I think that was a turning point for me. I started to see things more clearly. For months now I had been trying to make sense of this relationship between he and I. I had found this “perfect” man and we loved each other with such a greatness that I could not even put it into words. I could never understand how he could stand to not be by my side and why he chose to stay married. Then it hit me. The love we felt for each other wasn’t equal. I had been under the illusion that he loved me like I loved him. He couldn’t love me like I did him, because he was married. He would never be free to love me the way I did him as long as he had commitments to his wife. Those commitments were constraints on how much he could invest in his love towards me. I was able to love him without constraint and he wasn’t. His love for me was one of the biggest things that attracted me to him. Once I was able to see that his love for me was less than he had verbalized, and that it was not equal and couldn’t be unless he got divorced, the real process of being able to let go began to happen. It hurt like hell to finally realize that, but it also made it easier for me to begin to let go, as I realized I was clinging to nothing but a false sense of reciprocal love.
If he did love me like I thought he did, he wouldn’t have spent the holidays without me. He wouldn’t have let weeks slip by without calling to hear my voice. If he had loved me he would have shown concern over where this relationship was headed. He wouldn’t have allowed me to be the OW, and all that that entailed. Hell, if I had loved me more I wouldn’t have allowed that either. If he had loved me he would have held tight to me to keep me by his side. As one of my awesome male friends pointed out…He said…
“[insert my name], men who love you don’t leave you. They hang on with everything they have. He hasn’t left his wife, because quite frankly he doesn’t love you as much as he loves her. He has told you everything you need to know in his actions. It isn’t because he feels he doesn’t deserve you, or you deserve better (that is what W told me in his last text message to me), that’s just a nice way of saying he doesn’t want to be with you. He is doing this because you are not where he chooses to be or who he wants to spend his life with. It really is that black and white. You don’t let the woman you want to spend your life and marry, walk out of your life. Men don’t do that. He’s not fighting, he is letting go. He’s not a martr trying to do what is right for you, he is doing what is right for him. You do not suit his needs anymore. Suiting his needs is what this whole affair has been about, that’s why he went looking for one. You no longer fit the bill.”
And there you have it the biting sting of truth. It really is that simple and true. Armed with this knowledge has made letting go a lot easier. It hurts, hurts really bad, but it makes it easier to let go.
Another revelation I had was the mourning process. I was so scared of the grieving process. Grief is not fun! I thought in my head that the grieving process was going to be, or should be equal to the amount of love I felt for him. My love for him was/is so great that I thought the grieving process would be equally as great. Sometimes the grief over the anticipated grief is just as great as the grief. Here is an example, if you have ever had to care for terminally ill family member watching them through their last days and saying multiple goodbyes in different ways is such a painful experience. Once they pass, it is so hard, but there is a certain amount of relief that comes with no longer anticipating the end and being able to tackle the aftermath of their loss and start the healing process.
I had been doing that with W. I started my grief process in November. I started questioning things as the holiday season began. Around this time he had told me maybe we shouldn’t see each other (but then a couple of days later he reneged and said he meant physically.) And then the holidays came and went and I never got so much as a phone call to say Merry Christmas or Happy New Year I began to question what was going on. Our relationship had basically turned into a new-aged version of pen pals, but in text form. I knew something wasn’t right and so did my family and friends. They noticed W’s absence during the holidays and began to question me about it. I was questioning myself as to what was going on. I started looking for answers and reading everything I could get my hands on. I was grieving as I knew we were on the downhill slope. This is when the doubts about his love and intentions towards me began to run rampant. I felt abandoned during this time, lost, confused, and hurt. It is as clear as day now, that he had been trying to leave and back out of this relationship for a while, and that I was the one hanging on, not wanting to face the hurt or let him go.
I faced my anticipated grief head on when I ended things. With that came a certain amount of relief in knowing that it is over and I can begin to heal. Today, I feel stronger. I no longer feel like I am trying to force something that wasn’t meant to be. I have begun to let go of some of things that I believed about he and I. I am no longer waiting with anticipation for my phone to ring or waiting for a return text for hours. I gave up a long time ago the belief that we were to be married and have a future together. The longer he sat on the fence about getting a divorce, the more that reality became solid.
Yes, I still miss him. Yes, it still hurts when I see or hear something that reminds me of him. Yes, the pain and greatness of my loss is still felt. Yes, I still love him. I think I always will. It has been said that if it is true love it it will find a way. I always believed that, and still do. I have just come to realize that it doesn’t apply to the lopsided love between a man and his mistress. With each passing day it gets a bit easier with minor set backs. I am starting to see the first ray of light at the end of this dark tunnel. Tomorrow is a new day.