Posted by Anonymous.
Let me give you a little background on my relationship with The Ex. We were together for four years. We have a soon to be 2 year old daughter. For the first couple of years, our relationship was fine. Up until right before I got pregnant, that is. That was the first time he cheated on me. I was devastated, but not yet a believer in the old adage, "once a cheater always a cheater." I forgave. I let it go. All was well for my pregnancy. Then, a month after I gave birth to our daughter, he says he is leaving me. He has met someone and fallen for her. Says he has wanted to leave since before I got pregnant and just decided to try and stick it out. Once again I am crushed. The bottom has fallen out of my world. I am terrified, alone, and a mother. How will I deal with this? I feel desperate. I will do anything if only he would come back to me. Acting so pathetic makes me disgusted with myself, but I do not care. I love him. Lo and behold, suddenly he wants to come home-and so I let him. But there is a catch. He does not break it off with her. I tell myself that this will just be temporary. If only I can stick it out, we can be happy again.
This goes on for weeks. Then months. Before I quite know what has happened, a year and a half has gone by. This woman is still in his life. It's been going on for so long that it almost seems normal to me. Then, again. One night he comes home with a hickey on his neck. I know where he was, and it wasn't with her. There is yet another woman. An old friend of his, whom I had always been friendly with. I realize I am simply a member of his harem. I finally get angry. For some time now I have been harboring a secret lust for my neighbor, K. He knows what is going on with The Ex. Many times he has told me how wrong it is, the way he treats me. He knows I am about at the end of my rope and to my surprise, starts making tentative advances. He drops hints. We have long conversations, sitting outside on the stairs, smoking, late at night when the Ex is with her and my daughter asleep. He is a whole different world from the Ex. He doesn't insult and degrade me.
One night, when the Ex is out for an overnight fishing trip, I invite him in. We spend hours curled up on the couch. Ever so gradually, as if he's scared I will run out of the room if he moves too quickly, he inches closer. There is, finally, a kiss. There is much cuddling. He lets me set the pace and does not pressure me. Eventually, one thing leads to another. It is amazing. I haven't been with anyone but the Ex in 4 years. I had forgotten what it feels like to be with someone that hasn't hurt you so terribly-for it to be easy, and simple, and to have nothing niggling away, reminding you of past hurts. At first I think, this will be it-a one night stand, my private victory over the Ex for all he has done to me. Petty, perhaps, but also cathartic. But a few nights later, a conversation with K, coupled with the fact that I haven't been able to stop thinking about him, changes that. I tell the Ex we are done. I tell him to get his things and leave. He rages. He yells. He cries. He swears he will change, asks what I have to lose by giving him another chance. I think of K. I stand firm. Finally, I have taken a stand. Never did I think I would be strong enough to do this. I feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
And now, there is K. For a few months, all is well. I am constantly amazed by how much easier things are with him. There are no fights, no screaming, no name calling and no cheating. He treats me as though I am some fragile creature, and he is afraid I will blow away in the wind. He is calm and kindness after anger and chaos. He is amazing, and there is a fiery passion between us that had been missing for far too long in my life. I start to fall in love with him. I feel as though he is safe-I sense none of the coldness or cruelty in him that the Ex had. Being near him centers me, calms me. Whenever he is around I feel as though nothing can touch me. He is safe. He is my courage. Alas, happiness seems to be fleeting. One day, after an offhand remark by him, I realize he is not so perfect. It seems he has problems staying in a long term relationship-not because of cheating, mind you, but because as soon as he starts to feel something real he takes off. He refuses to stay with anyone for long. I am floored again, and tearfully I tell him that if that is the case, then I must cut my losses and go now. I am too close to being head over heels in love with him to wait around for him to bail out on me. I must be the one that walks away. And so with one last hug, I do.
And now, I am afraid. K gave me one thing-he helped me to move on from the Ex. Now there is no longer any danger of me taking him back again. I feel nothing for him but a tired sort of tolerance, in that he must be in my life because of my daughter. But he no longer owns me. But he was so big a part of me, for so long, that I feel strange and empty not loving him. And I am still hurting over K-I let myself feel for him because he seemed safe, I thought he would never hurt me. I know he felt something real too-there is just no way to fake what we had. So I am hurt and confused over how he could just turn his back on it. So, twice heartbroken and wondering what to do, here I sit. I feel so battered down and beaten by everything I've been through, I just can't seem to find any reason to try anymore. Now, I'm not suicidal, don't take it wrong. I just feel like giving up on life. What is the point of risking yourself, of trying to find something, when all it does is turn around and bite you on the ass? Why even try? I am so utterly tired of being hurt, and used, and never good enough for anyone that I feel like I should just slam the door to my feelings closed and throw away the key. I'm sick of giving myself to someone only to be thrown away.
I have my daughter to raise, and I feel as though that should give my life purpose and illumination. But it doesn't. I love my daughter fiercely and completely, I would lay down my life for hers, but that does not automatically make me immune to the trials and tribulations of life. People speak of parenthood as though it should be your one purpose and goal in life, as if you cease to be a person and are merely a child raising automaton the second you give birth. But I am still me. I still have all the same doubts and fears, I still love and still hurt and still wonder what it's all about. I can't help that. But I just can't seem to get back on my feet this time - I don't know how to find the strength to keep trying anymore.