I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
Sandy* and I have known one another 15 years. We met through work and have been two peas in a pod ever since. I am fortunate to call this individual a friend and trust her completely with my thoughts, feelings and experiences.
A recent call brought a sense of sadness, distraught and also an increase in pulse. Sandy had received a text message stating that the guy she's been seeing has a girlfriend on the side. Not the type of text one wants to receive, yet it happened and is now the main topic of conversation.
I've been given permission to share this story. This is not the first time, nor the last, that I cover this topic. I recall touching on John and Elizabeth Edwards, which shows how long it's been. Let's just say now that it's hit close to home, I'm also sharing my heartfelt emotions within.
Sandy became a single gal in 2005. She took some time for herself and within three years decided to tread lightly into the arena of internet dating. Not soon after, she received an email from a gentleman. He was divorced, a business owner and happily single. They communicated for 6 months prior to their first date. They went to lunch, hit it off and planned for a second date and beyond. After their third date, he informed her he had absolutely no interest in a girlfriend, dating or living with anyone. He was still recovering from significant losses from his divorce and just wanted someone to spend time with casually.
She believed this was a convenient way to go, most beneficial to her as well. It took the pressure off of the "what if" and also timelines in general. They could focus on today and not worry about next month or next year. She has, at times, expressed a desire for something committed, long term, but the main rule has always been monogamy. This has given her a piece of mind and also a clear conscience. There have been times when she has met others who have a desire for a long term relationship at which time she will tell this individual that she is going in a new direction and is not available. She has been honest and upfront and also very direct. Yet, something brings them back together. Call it karma, fate or the physical nature of it all. Call him a back-up plan or safety net, it has sufficed.
That dreaded text message. It was inconvenient, surprising and unexpected. "I don't know how long you have been sleeping together, but he has a girlfriend." Bombshell, to say the least.
My friend invited this texter to call her, to discuss this situation like adults. The call came in soon after. This individual identified herself as Jessica*. What my friend learned was shocking. Jessica stated that this man spends nights, weekends, holidays, birthdays and takes trips. Along with the fact he's been playing daddy to her children, buying them Christmas presents and such. The same man who claims he's never been in love, has been telling Jessica he loves her daily for the past 4 years. How in the world did this man, the man my girlfriend has trusted to long, pull off the heist of more than half a century? Easy! Let's go there!
Call it convenient or out of physical necessity. Each one of us has been there, in or out of marriage. Sometimes it lasts a month, other times 20 years. Regardless, each one of us can learn from this and spot the warning signs prior to heading down the same path.
Looking back, there were many signs. Not flashing, twirling, blinking signs, but small signs. It wasn't hard to believe that a man would want to recover from a divorce, do his own thing, regain his sense of freedom. This type of guy might want to meet a woman most compatible for romance and such. There is absolutely nothing incorrect or indifferent about this path, yet it is guaranteed he and only he benefits from this type of arrangement. This man was not available weekends during the winter because he was hunting, fishing or snowmobiling. He didn't request to spend holidays or birthdays, much less Valentines Day. They did quite a bit of texting, rarely talking on the phone. He talked mainly about himself, didn't ask my friend personal questions or delve deep about who she was on the inside. Everything was kept surface, or "safe" as he stated. He convinced her over and over that relationships were not of anyone's best interest and continued pushing how "easy" things were because they never took that path. In looking back, he focused on her solely for physical purposes, nothing more, nothing less.
A great many women, well, most, can only be satisfied in this situation for so long. We are all physical, mental, emotional and spiritual beings. There is absolutely no need to sacrifice the majority for the minority. It's exhausting, tiring and frustrating knowing that we aren't valued as human beings. She isn't the first, nor the last, who will fall into this trap.
Getting back to their conversation. Jessica claims to have had a long term, committed, loving, monogamous relationship with this gentleman. She stated that their relationship began 7 years ago. They had dated casually at which time he began to pursue her and committed himself to her 4 years ago. It is stated that she caught him with another woman at his home last year, yet she forgave and they moved on. It wasn't until this past Saturday night that Jessica discovered the a text message from my girlfriend to this man. Jessican copied down the number at which time she waited until Sunday morning to text my girlfriend and give her the news.
After talking further Jessica described herself as a loving single mother of three children. She is successful, hardworking and has allowed this man into the life of her children. Let's just say despite the fact she knew of his indiscretions from the previous year, she forgave. So many years invested, refusing to throw it all away. She is like so many women who believe in the happily ever after.
The moral of the story is this: Single parents who trust someone enough to allow them into the family unit put themselves at a greater risk. When a new partner betrays your trust, it takes all of your emotional and mental strength to hold it together. It distracts you from being completely successful and takes away from caring for your children fully. It brings you down, day and night, and causes dissention within the family structure. For any individual to take advantage of this trust is henious. With such a great amount of individuals without children available, there is no reason to take advantage of such a sensitive situation. Why a man or woman would choose to interfere with the lives of innocent children is beyond me. I can guarantee you there is a special place in hell for them.
My girlfriend has learned her lesson. She refuses to be a pawn in his game. Let's just say that she's always kept her emotions in check and is doing ok. Fortunately, she saved her emails, text messages and insisted on pictures. This has allowed her to forward a great majority to Jessica for proof of their six year relationship. Her heart breaks for this woman and she wishes her not only healing but the strength to break it off and move on. Both women deserve amazing, wonderful and honest men.
If you've walked a mile in their shoes, you are not alone. If you face this situation, choose to be a survivor, not a victim. Rely on your friends, family and faith to get through. Get busy, take time to heal and spend time with your children. Talk with a trusted friend or counselor to let it out and let it go. Cry if you need and over time, limit the amount of investment you choose to give this individual. Forgive, refuse to give that person one more moment, thought, word, feeling or energy. Refrain from making future partners pay for the sins of this person. Forgo allowing one person the ability to destroy your happiness. Live your life with a clean slate and do whatever it takes to stand on your own.
To be continued....