I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. My anxiety level was at an all time high and I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I was sitting on a patio with a guy who had just revealed himself to be a cheater. How could I ever get past this type of deception?
We left the restaurant, picked up some ice cream, and walked around the city for a while. It was then that I finally told you what happened to me in my last relationship. I had been sexually violated in my apartment three years prior. An experience that took me two years to be able to talk about and three years before I could bring myself to go on another date. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have opened up to you so quickly. At the time; however, your transparency about your affair made me comfortable enough to share my deepest pain. It was there, walking along a bridge that you learned about my issues with intimacy. Your response caught me off guard. Instead of comforting me, you laughed, put your arms around me, and continued to walk. I was speechless. Who laughs about something so traumatic?
That was the second time I squashed my inner voice, the voice that told me you were trouble, the voice that told me to run. I woke up that next morning to a long text message explaining that you were confident you would not make the same mistakes. “I promise you will grow fond of me if you give me a chance,” you wrote. Why did I so easily fall for that line? At the time, I interpreted this to mean he was sincerely interested in me. Either way, no matter how misguided, it worked. That night we went to see The Moody Blues. Driving back from the concert I asked you, “Do you want more children?”
Some people may think it was too early in the relationship to ask this question. There comes a point; however, where you need to ask the deal breaker questions. Why invest any more time navigating down commitment alley if the guy you are interested in does not want the same things? One of the main reasons my college boyfriend and I ended our two-year relationship was because he did not want children. This was my deal breaker question. I would be able to walk away if you said no. As your headlights shined upon the empty road you replied, “I would love to have more children.” It’s a simple statement, yet it further anchored me to you.
I told no one about you. In fact, I stopped talking to most of my closest friends and eventually withdrew from my family. How could I explain what I had involved myself in? How could I ever introduce you to those closest to me?
“Hey guys! This is J. He is 11 years older than me [38-years-old]. I thought he was recently divorced, but I just found out he is not. He has been diagnosed with a wandering eye and an inability to remember which bed he sleeps in. What do you think? I’ve found a keeper, hu?”
I couldn’t see how this would ever work between us, yet I was determined to give everything I had to this relationship. You had become a drug to me and I craved the next high.