Are you all ready for Part 2? Here we go.
After the bawling and crying subsided (the sort of crying I was doing could realistically only have lasted 15 minutes max. Otherwise I’d have passed out from sheer exhaustion) and SCL admitted that he really hadn't thought the whole "I want to end our relationship through" (Note: then WTF are you saying it? Don’t you realize that this is the MEANEST THING YOU COULD DO TO ME?), I really wanted to understand what was going on with him. Where was all of this coming from? So I put on my compassionate partner hat and listened.
Now I have to confess something. I am not perfect. Shocking, I know! Back in the fall I did something really stupid. I read SCL’s journal. It was a desperate, albeit pathetic and invasive, attempt to understand what was going on in his head when I suspected his heart wasn’t totally in the relationship. (Maybe I should've just thought of ending it then rather than invading his privacy. The fact that I felt his heart wasn't in the right place would have been reason to say that I was done.) The snooping is not something I’m proud of. And here’s the thing about snooping: whatever you find, you can’t say anything about. It’s pretty much the worst idea in the world unless you by chance happen to find something really great that affirms your relationship. Do not count on this ever happening. In my case, I found just the opposite. I saw the negative side, the dark side, the doubting side, and while I didn’t want to believe it, it was right there in front of me.
Eventually the guilt overtook me and I confessed to SCL that I’d done it. He was FURIOUS with me and rightfully so. I broke his trust, and I really felt like shit about it for months. I gingerly brought up some of the things he wrote, but he obviously didn’t feel like he needed to answer me. I had invaded his trust, and what right did I have to question anything he said? So, I let it go. I tried to forget about it. I never brought up anything I had read.
So, when he told me the night of our "why are we living together" conversation that he’d read my journal, things changed. First, I didn’t really care that he'd done it. I think it’s fantastic that someone would actually find me interesting enough to actually to take the time to read my journal (clearly I am affirmed by this; I’m a blogger who writes about my life and gets excited every single time there’s a new follower!) It was fair that he’d done it, I guess. I’d broken his trust, why shouldn’t he break mine? It was at that point that I thought to myself, to hell with it. I really didn’t care anymore about pretending I didn’t read what he wrote. I wanted the truth. He was being brutally honest about everything else. Our relationship was going down the toilet in front of my eyes, so I had to just go for it. This was my chance.
“Is this about her?” I asked. “Her” being the girl I read about in the pages of his journal, the girl of his past, the girl he seemed to still be thinking about, the one whose pedestal I knew I’d never quite reach.
“No,” he said.
I asked again, “Is this about her?” I asked. “Have you been talking to her?”
And then it came. “Yes. She wrote me yesterday.”
I wanted to scream. I wanted to go find this stupid girl and give her a piece of my mind. I wanted to scream at SCL, “GET OVER IT ALREADY! SHE IS A FANTASY! NO WOMAN WILL EVER LIVE UP TO THE ILLUSION IN YOUR MIND!” Instead, I listened. I asked questions. And for the very first time in our entire relationship, I truly felt SCL was being honest with me. He let me see the note she wrote, a letter that pissed me off with its façade of trying to be respectful of the fact that he was in a serious relationship with me—but also making it a point to say that she still has feelings for him. Don’t even kid me with that line, sister. Women know these things, and she knew what those words would do—they would give him hope that she still loves him, too.
After he’d told me more about her and how he felt, I told him that the way I saw it he had three choices.
1) Cut off all contact with her.
2) Try to have some kind of normal friendship with her (i.e. let me meet me, see that she is a normal person with flaws and everything.)
3) Dump me and go pursue a relationship with her.
Of course I’d hoped he wouldn’t choose the last, but I couldn’t deny it was a choice he could make.
Let me just say I don’t think this woman was the cause of our break-up. Not that it helped. But I do think that SCL’s inability/unwillingness/whatever to let her go was a barrier to him truly loving me and committing to me. I can’t blame her for that. That’s his burden to bear. We all have baggage; this is some of his.
I'm wondering how other women would react to hearing something like this—that she is second best in my man's heart. Honestly I sort of felt good because FINALLY he was sharing with me openly. Emotional stuff aside, in the moment I took it as a step toward real honesty between us and a way to begin rebuilding our relationship on a solid foundation of trust. Maybe I should’ve known better. But I will say that I did everything I could, including being there for him as he admitted his love(?)/feelings for another woman, to be a supportive, loving, compassionate partner no matter what. I thought we could work through even this as long as we were honest and communicated. I didn’t think it was the end of us, but rather a new beginning. I wanted it to be. And deep down I truly believe it could’ve been if that’s what he had wanted.
That's what hurts the most--that I was such a loving, caring, compassionate partner, that I was willing to help him work through even this and whatever else came up, and he still didn't want me anymore. What a loss for him, I know. But it's also a huge loss for me, too--to have my love rejected like that. I know, I know what you're all thinking. But let me just quote Kelly Clarkson and say"That's how I feel right now/ So just let me be."